Wind Blows Energy to Columbia
Officials say the new addition of wind energy is more environmentally friendly.
"We heard about it, we were interested in the project, so we got them to install three other wind turbines," said Connie Kacprowicz of Columbia Water and Light. "Now we're getting the output of those three wind turbines."
The wind produces more than 50 megawatts of power per year. Columbia now buys 11 percent of their output. The current transmission system is currently unable to supply any more.
"Until the transmission system is built up to handle more power transactions of this type, we are constrained by the ability to get that wind energy to Columbia." Kacprowicz said.
At the University of Missouri, researchers use towers to see if a wind turbine is worth building in Columbia.
"These kind of measurements can be used to compare to larger towers that may be in Boone County, and we might be able to see how these measurements correlate to the higher measurements. In doing that, we can determine if wind energy is feasible here," said Associate Professor Tony Lupso
He says the remaining question is if the wind levels will be consistently high enough.
By the end of next year, Columbia Water and Light should be getting five percent of its energy from renewable sources. Officials had not expected to reach that goal until 2013.