Columbia's wind energy contract arouses some disputes

9 months 3 weeks 10 hours 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 - A crash on Highway 63 South left two drivers in the hospital Monday night. The crash happened... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 11:50:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – City council members approved the construction of two new roundabouts near Mill Creek Elementary School following a public... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:20:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - An unnamed organization reported to the Better Business Bureau that it lost more than $3,000 from a phishing... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:16:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation and Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety are challenging drivers this week to... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 8:00:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's U.S. senators are pitching the Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas as potential sites... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 7:32:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Race Matters, Friends is currently seeking out volunteers to sit in on, take notes on and observe court... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 7:27:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - One local business is helping raise money to donate to the Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Maria... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 7:05:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is one of the top locations to start a small business, according to a 2016 Forbes list... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 6:57:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager Mike Matthes and his staff released a report Monday at the city council meeting on the... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 6:01:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia Police Department is proposing changes to the standing alarm system ordinance. The first reading will... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 3:41:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Ethics Committee took the first steps in disciplinary proceedings toward Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola after... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – People gathered at Columbia’s Planned Parenthood on Monday for a counter-protest against abortion opponents and the 40 Days... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Harry S. Truman VA Hospital invited behavioral health experts and local organizations to the 2017 Mental Health and... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 2:41:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
MEXICO - A 27-year-old man died after his car collided with a dump truck in Mexico, Mo. According the... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 2:32:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is headed to the United Kingdom and Switzerland on his second trade... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 2:02:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – If you passed Erifnus Caitnop on the road, you probably did not give it a second look. The... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 1:57:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
CARUTHERSVILLE (AP) — Authorities are searching for two inmates who escaped Sunday from the Pemiscot County jail. The... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 1:53:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- When Laurie Matthews hired Joe Bias in June to replace some siding on her home, it was in good... More >>
3 days ago Monday, October 16 2017 Oct 16, 2017 Monday, October 16, 2017 1:46:00 PM CDT October 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
8am 53°
9am 58°
10am 63°
11am 67°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
7:00a
Maury
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld