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
COLUMBIA - Some Special Olympics athletes are ready for prom after choosing their perfect dress from more than 100 that... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:04:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The next step in construction of a new middle school in Columbia is a public vote scheduled for... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:00:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With the Jan. 19 deadline looming for Congress to pass a federal spending bill and keep the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 6:46:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has signed off on Missouri's plans for implementing a new act that... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - People who work at a Columbia shelter say more people would volunteer if they knew how gratifying it... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4:55:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Tuesday night, Columbia City Council approved a $12.3 million improvement to sections of Nifong and Forum Boulevard.... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4:06:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - As many lawmakers have released statements regarding Gov. Eric Greitens admitting to an extramarital affair, they are... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:40:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The state treasurer wants to spread the word that Missourians are now able to withdraw from a... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:32:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — This winter season, people are battling the widespread flu alongside bitter cold temperatures. The Centers for Disease... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:00:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Walmart is now offering a product that destroys opioids before they can be abused, and it is offering... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:00:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Centralia man was sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after a car crash in a Columbia... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 2:54:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - With winter weather hitting mid-Missouri hard this past week, one store is doing its best to keep Missouri... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 2:32:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
MAPLEWOOD (AP) — A man in St. Louis County is accused of jabbing his boyfriend with hypodermic needles and holding... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 2:19:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -Right now, Missouri can charge 17-year-olds as adults. One group wants to change that immediately. "It is... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 2:11:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed legislation to require some businesses to hang posters advertising the... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officials with Jefferson City Public Schools announced the groundbreaking ceremony for the city's second high school, which... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 12:59:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri House lawmakers have approved a ban on most lobbyist gifts to themselves and other... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 12:20:14 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker is pushing a bill that would require college students to pass a citizenship test... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 11:18:00 AM CST January 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 63°
7pm 58°
8pm 57°
9pm 56°
10pm 56°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00p
Little Big Shots
7:00p
Little Big Shots
8:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
6:00p
Saving Hope
7:00p
Look Who's Talking
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

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