Wind Turbines Provide Renewable Energy for a Price

4 years 1 month 2 days ago November 04, 2012 Nov 4, 2012 Sunday, November 04 2012 Sunday, November 04, 2012 2:53:00 PM CST in News
By: Karl Roskamp

COLUMBIA - Wind farms are sprinkled far out on the wheat belt of the Midwest, but still manage to fuel homes throughout Missouri.

In fact, wind powers things from telephones to televisions and stovetops to ice boxes. The city of Columbia gets 4.7 percent of its energy from wind or 56 percent of its renewable energy portfolio.

"(Wind) can and should be an important part of the mix of energy resources that we use in this country," Central Electric Power Cooperative CEO Don Shaw said.

Shaw, who has worked with utilities for nearly four decades, endorses using renewable energies as a way to decrease dependence on fossil fuels. In some places like Rock Port, MO., it gets enough wind to power the entire town. While harnessing wind can reduce atmospheric emissions and be done almost anywhere, it does have its shortcomings.

"The reason why wind probably isn't as popular as solar first of all is Columbia isn't in a zone that is particular favorable for wind production," Columbia Water & Light Assistant Director Ryan Williams said. "Second of all, the solar production for this area is larger than what the wind production would be."

According to Shaw, even though solar power has more potential, Missourians get more energy from wind.  Solar power has the ability to produce 7.8 megawatts while wind can produce 458.5 megawatts or 59 times that.  Currently, Columbia Water & Light has five electric customers who use solar panels, but only one with a wind turbine. Three weeks ago, the University of Missouri added a wind turbine on the south side of campus, but Shaw doesn't expect residents to start buying their own.

"(Residential wind turbines) are not high enough and their not located in the right spot to optimize the wind that's available," Shaw said.

According to Shaw, wind blows about one-third of the time in Columbia, which means residential wind turbine owners can generate electricity for roughly eight hours a day. An ideal location to maximize wind potential would be on a high plateau with a high tower in Northwest Missouri, which is where Rock Port is located. So why build a wind turbine in mid-Missouri if it can't maximize its potential?

"(Owners) feel like it's their contribution to reducing their carbon foot print or their contribution to being environmentally sensitive," Shaw said. "They really don't do it because they say 'Gee, I'm going to save myself a lot money by doing this.'"

Residential wind turbines cost on average $15,000 to buy and install. After set up, Shaw said the average wind turbine in mid-Missouri will produce roughly 40 kwh a month. Solar panels with the same potential will produce roughly 200 kwh a month. If an electric cooperative purchased the kilowatts produced for ten cents a kilowatt, the owner would reduce their monthly electric bill by $4 a month. At that rate, the wind turbine would likely break down before paying for itself; something backed up by studies at Northwest Missouri State University.

"You're not going to get your money back," Shaw said. 

He added that the technologies aren't in place for people to maximize the potential of wind power, but the next step should be to focus on viable options to store the produced energy.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson is calling for an investigation of the state Department of... More >>
52 minutes ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 5:23:42 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A U.S. district judge sentenced a Columbia man Wednesday for child sex trafficking. Kenyata Miles, 35,... More >>
1 hour ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 4:35:00 PM CST in News
FULTON- The state's Office of Administration announced $97.2 million in bonds to rebuild the Fulton State Hospital. The hospital is... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:49:00 PM CST in News
EDWARDSVILLE (AP) — A Missouri man has been ordered to spend 40 years in prison after having admitted in court... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:36:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Opponents are suing to stop a new Missouri constitutional amendment to limit political giving. ... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:26:38 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has begun spending more time at his new home in the St.... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:19:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Eight Chicago residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury for the smash-and-grab crime at... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:17:31 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri released official recommendations on Wednesday for how the institution can proceed in addressing issues... More >>
3 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:01:00 PM CST in News
FULTON - It was a special day at the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society in Fulton. Today marks the 75th... More >>
3 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 2:42:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Student Health Center announced Wednesday it has identified 193 confirmed and probable mumps cases... More >>
3 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 2:38:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Jay Nixon announced Wednesday he was restricting $51 million in Medicaid and other spending and making... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 1:57:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Police arrested Elisabeth Trumbower of Columbia Tuesday after she allegedly falsified and fullfilled multiple prescriptions for Adderall. ... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 1:43:00 PM CST in News
HARTVILLE (AP) — The state auditor says an audit shows new possible fraud by a former county collector who recently... More >>
5 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 12:52:19 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man is hospitalized after being struck in the head with an ax by... More >>
6 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 11:54:13 AM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police in southwestern Missouri's Springfield say a man was shot and killed while trying to burglarize a... More >>
7 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:49:15 AM CST in News
WEBSTER GROVES (AP) — Officials at Webster University in suburban St. Louis say they have narrowed in on students responsible... More >>
8 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:13:19 AM CST in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing several charges after allegedly trying to grab a police officer's... More >>
8 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:06:25 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new high school in St. Louis County gives students with learning disabilities the opportunity to... More >>
8 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:01:36 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 29°
7pm 28°
8pm 28°
9pm 27°
10pm 26°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
7:00p
Hairspray Live!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy
7:00p
Arrow

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Hairspray Live!
9:55p
To Be Announced
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Frequency
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld