August 16, 2018

Wind farm issue blows back into county

By Alan Dooley | Republic-Times | August 15, 2018 |

The phrase “free as the wind” has long symbolized something comforting without cost. The wind has cooled humanity, and smelled good too.

Wind-powered mills pumped water and ground grain into usable food. It enabled us not to have to do these things by hand anymore.

The wind powered ships around the world for eons until humans wanted to move more tonnage faster and farther.

Steam power, internal combustion and nuclear power emerged to propel vessels. Those same fuels generated electricity.

Today, the interface between “free wind” and electricity is rearing a controversial head in Monroe County.

Local developer Joe Koppeis has sought endorsement from commissioners on a letter regarding plans for a 50-tower wind farm in the bluffs stretching from Valmeyer to Renault. The letter presented to the board Aug. 6 is one Koppeis hopes to send to affected rural landowners.

The letter states that this proposed wind farm would generate both tax revenues and energy. The placement of the towers is to connect to the Baldwin Power Plant, Prairie State Energy Campus, Meramec Power Plant and Rush Island Power Station.

“Given that we believe this is extremely beneficial for the schools, the community, the environment, the local tax base and the future of our region, we hope that you will also support this project,” this letter states.

The commissioners tabled Koppeis’ request but invited him to attend a future meeting and answer questions. Koppeis, who has developed such local projects as Rock City in Valmeyer and 11 South in Columbia, plans to discuss his proposal at the Aug. 20 county board meeting at 11 a.m…>>>

To view the entire letter Koppeis presented to the Monroe County Board seeking approval for the wind farm, click here [1].

Read the rest of this article in the August 15, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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