Farming For Wind

1 decade 7 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, April 26 2007 Apr 26, 2007 Thursday, April 26, 2007 7:24:42 PM CDT April 26, 2007 in News

Ken Hensley is the manager of the Blue Grass Ridge Wind Farm.

"You have 25 tons up there spinning around every 3.9 seconds," he said. "Before you know it, windpower becomes stored electricity."

Five years ago, however, no one thought it was possible to do a project of its kind in Missouri.

Tom Carnahan is president of the Wind Capital Group.

"When I first came up here, the people thought I was kind of crazy," he said. "The fact that I was a known quantity probably didn't hurt, but on any given election, 48 percent of the people can't stand the Carnahans"

Twenty-four windmills have been built on northwest Missouri farm property.

"It was an option for us to make a little more money on the farm," said David Waltemath, a King City farmer.

Each farmer is paid about $5,000 a year to put a windmill on their property.

"Everybody has to have an off-farm income, that's why I work at the bank and have other investments; it's almost impossible to make it solo," said Carnahan.

"You'll see liberals in urban areas who love these wind farms and also a conservative rural farmer maybe for a different set of reasons thinks this is the best thing ever," said Carnahan.

Two utility companies in mid-Missouri will be using that wind power, Boone Electric Cooperative and the City of Columbia. The wind farm can produce enough electricty for 30,000 homes or more.

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