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Wind Energy

Wind turbines and transmission towers in the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County, Indiana.
Chris Light | Wikimedia Commons

The Missouri Public Service Commission gave the green light Wednesday to allow a 780-mile wind-energy transmission line to be built across Missouri.

The Grain Belt Express transmission line will deliver nearly 4,000 megawatts of power from wind farms in western Kansas to parts of Missouri, Illinois and some eastern states. The line would course through eight Missouri counties, including Caldwell, Randolph and Monroe.

This array of solar panels on top of a building helps power the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.
File photo | Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association

Mayor Lyda Krewson signed the Sierra Club’s “Mayors For 100 Percent Clean Energy” pledge on Tuesday, signaling her commitment to helping the city some day becoming completely reliant on renewable energy. 

In signing the pledge, Krewson joins the mayors of more than 200 cities — including Cincinnati, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City — who have expressed their support of renewable energy as the Trump administration actively rolls back regulations such as emissions limits for power plants.

“We’ve got to look out for generations to come,” Krewson said. “I wish we all have understood that 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. But we’re here today, so we do what we can today.”

The Sierra Club hopes action at the local level will result in grassroots changes that will slow the effects of climate change.

A wind turbine.
Provided by Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri on Monday announced plans to build a wind farm in northeast Missouri that could provide electricity to 120,000 homes. 

The utility has contracted renewable energy company Terra-Gen LLC to construct 175 wind turbines on multiple properties in Adair and Schuyler counties. The wind farm would help Ameren Missouri reach its goal to cut its 2005 carbon emissions levels by 80 percent by 2050.

The utility also must comply with the state's renewable energy standard, which requires state utilities to generate 15 percent of their portfolios from renewable sources by 2021. Ameren Missouri currently generates 5 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

A wind turbine.
Provided by Ameren Missouri

In a couple of years, Missouri cities and corporations could be receiving more electricity from wind power as Ameren Missouri ramps up its wind power facilities. 

The Sierra Club is appealing to Ameren shareholders in an attempt to prompt the utility to move away from coal-based energy.

The organization has submitted a resolution to shareholders calling for at least 30-percent wind and solar sourced energy by 2030 and at least 70-percent by 2050.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The renewable energy community has long been in something of a quandary. Everyone wants more solar and wind power, but the dilemma is obvious.

What do you do when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun fails to shine?

It was a question which Willett Kempton wanted to answer.  How dependable are these sources, known in the industry as “variable generation,” in dealing with a working power grid?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The renewable energy community has long been in something of a quandary. Everyone wants more solar and wind power, but the dilemma is obvious.

What do you do when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun fails to shine?

It was a question which Willett Kempton wanted to answer.  How dependable are these sources, known in the industry as “variable generation,” in dealing with a working power grid?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2013 - The renewable energy community has long been in something of a quandary. Everyone wants more solar and wind power, but the dilemma is obvious.

What do you do when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun fails to shine?

(Jerry W. Lewis' Flickr page)

Updated 1/2/2013 with the credit's legislative developments.

While “fiscal cliff” negotiations are happening in the nation’s capital, a lesser known issue is also on the table. And depending on the outcome, thousands of jobs in Missouri could be at stake.

Gerald Nickelson is a worker at CG Power Systems in Washington, Missouri. As he walks around the factory, he points out a line of workers in front of a machine, wrapping coil. Later, the coil will be housed inside a green metal tank and shipped off as a complete transformer.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

The federal wind Production Tax Credit supports nearly 2,000 Missouri jobs, but is set to expire at the end of the year. If Congress doesn’t act to renew the subsidy that could change, which has some Missouri policy-makers worried.

State Senator-elect Scott Sifton of St. Louis joined representatives from Environment Missouri, a non-profit environmental advocacy organization, on Wednesday to call for Congress to approve the incentive.

Appeals Court Upholds Mo. Renewable Energy Rules

Nov 20, 2012
Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

A state appeals court has upheld regulations implementing Missouri’s renewable energy standard.

Kevin Gunn chairs the Missouri Public Service Commission, the state regulatory agency that developed the regulations (4 CSR 240-20.100).

Missouri lagging behind neighbors in wind economy

Jun 23, 2011
(via Flickr/Erik Abderhalden)

In a 2008 speech Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius referred to her state as the “Saudi Arabia of Wind,” and that statement came along with plans to produce 10 percent of the state’s energy from wind by the end of the year.

That was also the year Missouri voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition C, a referendum designed to expand and grow the use of renewable energy here.  But two-and-a-half years later most of the regulations contained in Prop C have yet to go into effect.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 30, 2010 - After months of verbally hammering his opponent on the topic, GOP U.S. Senate nominee Roy Blunt has now launched the expected ad alleging that his Democratic rival, Robin Carnahan, and her brother -- U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan -- played a role in the $107 million in federal tax breaks that went to the wind farm co-owned by their younger brother, Tom Carnahan.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 15, 2009 - Tom Carnahan, the youngest adult member of Missouri's most prominent Democratic family and founder of St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group, will be among the wind-energy executives on hand Thursday in Jefferson City to greet Vice President Joseph Biden -- and announce their 2,500-job wind farm development.

Is wind power strong enough to overcome problems?

Feb 28, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 28, 2009 - Critics often point to what they see as three weaknesses of wind power: reliability, transmission-line problems and cost to ratepayers.

"Wind power is intermittent," said Fredrick Palmer, senior vice president of government relations for Peabody Energy and chair of Coal Policy Committee of the National Coal Council, speaking to a meeting of journalists in Roanoke, Va., in October. "It's an energy option that doesn't meet the demand of customers that flip the light switch."