Rock Port declares itself 100 percent
Apr 19, 2008 - The Associated Press
Officials in this northwest Missouri
town christened a four-turbine wind farm this week,
making Rock Port the first U.S. city to get all of
its electricity from wind power.
The $90 million Loess Hills Wind Farm,
built by St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group and the
John Deere Corp. on bluffs west of Rock Port, generates
five megawatts each day, more than enough for this
town of 1,300.
In fact, the farm is producing enough energy to
power a second town of Rock Port's size. Missouri
Joint Municipal Utilities will buy excess power from
the farm, expected to eventually generate 16 million
kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
"Rock Port is making the burning of fossil
fuels today's alternative energy supply," Eric
Chamberlain, project manager for Wind Capital Group,
told hundreds of residents who turned out Friday
for the ceremony.
Among those attending was Winona Hall and her daughter
Rebecca Herron. Hall has a turbine on her property
and the two women said they looked forward to wind
power's benefits. They and other people who agreed
to allow turbines on their land were praised for
Construction on the farm began last spring and included
500 workers from 20 states, Chamberlain said.
Mayor Jo Stevens said she wouldn't have guessed
such a project was possible when she retired from
the local utility in 2002.
Wind Capital President Tom Carnahan acknowledged
that wind energy is expensive now but said the costs
of constructing it would decline over time.
"More than once, I had to ask you to trust
me," Carnahan told the audience. "You put
the good of your community ahead of your individual
concerns. ... This project really never should have
"Today you declared your energy independence," he