Harnessing the wind

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rock Port, Mo., in far northwest Missouri declared last week that the town of 1,300 has become the first U.S. city to get all of its electricity from wind power.

The St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group, according to an article by the Associated Press, and John Deere Wind Energy built a wind farm of towering turbines on bluffs not far from the Missouri River west of Rock Port. The wind farm generates five megawatts each day, almost twice as much electricity as the town needs.

This is an exciting development. Although there are considerable up-front costs -- the farm cost $90 million, wind comes cheap. And wind is abundant in northwest Missouri, where rolling farmland without hills or dense forests does little to impede the flow of the wind.

The leaders of Rock Port and of the businesses that developed the wind farm are to be congratulated for their cooperation and foresight.

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