Columbia's wind energy contract arouses some disputes

1 year 3 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, December 28 2016 Dec 28, 2016 Wednesday, December 28, 2016 9:44:36 PM CST December 28, 2016 in News
By: Chris Green, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Columbia residents will soon have another renewable resource providing them with energy, but not everyone agrees with the source of it.

The City Council recently approved a contract to purchase more energy from wind power in order to keep up with its renewable energy goals. While most of the council members agreed to raise the use of wind energy, Laura Nauser had a different opinion.

"I don't support wind. I think wind is a scourge on our planet," she said.

Nauser said she grew up in California and frequently saw “the ungodly look of windmills.” Additionally, she cited the American Audubon Society saying, “wind turbines kill an estimated 140,000-328,000 birds in North American alone.”

Council member Karl Skala countered both of those points.

“One person’s outrage at the aesthetics of what a windmill looks like is another person’s awe in what some of these fields of windmills actually do look like,” he said. “They do take their toll on some bird populations, although those numbers have been exaggerated to a great degree.”

Skala also commented on the wind technology, saying it’s “light years” ahead of fossil fuels. Council member Ian Thomas agreed.

“The benefits of wind energy as replacing fossil fuels are enormous and incomparable,” he said.

Columbia Water and Light spokesperson Connie Kacprowicz said most Columbia residents agree with the city’s renewable energy goals. She said the citizens passed a renewable energy mandate in 2004 with overwhelming support, but they don’t get to choose if it’s carried out.

“It’s kind of up to the City Council as far as whether we follow it or not,” she said. “[The council members] have the ultimate decision in this type of thing.”

The next deadline set by the mandate is to increase renewable energy usage to 15 percent by the end of 2017. Cacprowicz said the new contract should help to meet this goal.

The contract is with Crystal Lake III LLC in northern Iowa. Columbia has had a contract with the company since 2012, and the new contract will more than double the amount of energy purchased.

Columbia also buys energy from a wind farm in northwest Missouri, Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm. Kacprowicz said the reason the city keeps contracting out of Iowa instead of staying in-state is both the price and the location.

“We’ve gone out for requests for proposals and tried to find the cheapest, but also in a place where we could easily get that wind energy delivered to Columbia,” she said.

Crystal Lake III is more than 300 miles away from Columbia, but Kacprowicz said its location allows for an easy transmission of energy.

According to Water and Light’s 2016 Renewable Energy Report, the energy from Crystal Lake III accounted for 2.18 percent of the city’s total sources of electricity.

The city previously bought 21 megawatts from the company, and the new contract will provide an extra 27 megawatts beginning in January, increasing to 45 megawatts in 2023.

The price will start at $19.55 per megawatt hour and will increase by 2 percent every year until the contract ends in 2032. The final price will be $26.31 per megawatt hour.

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Coyote sightings are becoming more frequent in the St. Louis area, and some are strolling down... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 10:37:36 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The number of confirmed cases of chronic wasting disease in Missouri deer is up, but... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 10:26:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
RICHMOND, Va. - The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking for the public's help with identifying a serial robber called... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 9:59:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
CHARITON COUNTY -- Alonzo Bernard Thorpe of Clark, Missouri was found guilty of eight counts of child molestation and two... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:38:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the final moments leading up to Friday's midnight deadline, Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 5:00:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The FBI recently opened an inquiry into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, two US officials told CNN, as he... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:19:05 PM CST January 19, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A visiting MU researcher is working to fight cancer with blueberries - specifically the extract of the fruit.... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 8:06:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some facilities in the state may be required to hang posters with information about human trafficking by the... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 6:43:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri offered Amazon nearly $2.5 billion in incentives over 10 years in a bid to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 5:25:09 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Show-Me State Games will be hosting its last MFA Oil - Break Time Shootout on Saturday. It is... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 4:26:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that 80 percent of state students who needed treatment for... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 4:09:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Campaign finance reports revealed Governor Eric Greitens' campaign operation has been leasing space in the same complex as... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 4:03:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The annual blood drive for fallen officer Molly Bowden came at a time when collecting blood is vital. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 3:56:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- A federal judge sentenced a man to more than 20 years in prison Friday for exploiting several children under... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:37:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- While the government heads toward a possible partial shut down many government agencies in mid-Missouri will remain open. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:23:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Dean Dohrman, (R-La Monte) has introduced House Bill 1528 to the Missouri Legislature. The bill requires... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:21:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Governor Greitens' attorney said Friday the rumors about Greitens possibly resigning hold "zero truth". Rumors of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 1:21:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Property restrictions based on race and ethnicity are not a thing of the past, in fact, they can... More >>
2 days ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 11:37:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
10pm 56°
11pm 56°
12am 56°
1am 56°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
Sports Extra with Chris Gervino
9:30p
Family Guy
10:00p
Seinfeld
10:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
9:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
7:00p
Look Who's Talking
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy