MARYVILLE, Mo. – The Nodaway County Commission this week took a step toward allowing private development of a new wind farm across southwestern Nodaway County.
The alternative energy initiative, known as the White Cloud Wind Project LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tradewind Energy Inc. of Kansas City. It is unrelated to a second proposed wind farm under development by Omaha, Nebraska-based Tenaska Inc., which is to stretch from just north of Maryville to the Iowa line.
Both projects, however, are seeking tax abatements through the largest of Nodaway County’s two Enhanced Enterprise Zones.
Josh McKim, executive director of Nodaway County Economic Development and a non-voting member of the EEZ board, met with the three-member commission on Tuesday to bring the commissioners up to speed on progress so far.
Following the county’s acceptance of a Tradewind project application last year, which preceded the review of various documents, including right-of-way and road maintenance agreements, the commission is now being asked to pass a resolution of approval, a step required under state law.
In addition to the commission, the initiative must also be approved by the EEZ board and all affected taxing entities, including municipalities, school districts and rural fire/rescue departments.
Aside from discussing the proposed resolution, which appears to have commission support, the governing board also scheduled a public hearing on the matter, which will take place beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the ground-floor commission chambers of the County Administration Center at the corner of Fourth and Market streets.
If all goes as planned, construction, most of it to occur west of U.S. Highway 71, is to begin during spring or early summer, 2019.
The Tradewind application calls for erection of 110 wind turbines, each with a generating capacity of between 2 and 3 megawatts of electricity. McKim said the project will generate about 15 permanent, local jobs embracing turbine maintenance and management.
Under EEZ guidelines, McKim said, the company will make a payment in lieu of taxes of approximately $5,900 per megawatt, which he said should generate more than $1 million a year in new revenue to be divided among the affected taxing entities.
He said the payments represent a 40 to 60 percent reduction in what Tradewind would pay in non-abated taxes over the life of the EEZ agreement, which is to remain in place for 20 years.
Altogether, McKim said the project represents $350 million worth of private investment in Nodaway County.
When the Tradewind and Tenaska projects are complete, Nodaway will be home to three wind farms, including the existing Conception Wind Farm developed by Wind Capital Group.
Commissioned in 2008 and consisting of 24 turbines rated to generate a total of 50 megawatts, the Wind Capital operation spreads out over pastures and fields in eastern Nodaway County near the small communities of Conception, Conception Junction and Clyde.
Tenaska’s Clear Creek Energy Center in the northern part of the county, also scheduled for construction next year, is to comprise 100 to 120 wind turbines each producing between 2 to 3 megawatts of electricity,
McKim told the commissioners that when the two new wind farms are up and running, Nodaway County will likely become Missouri’s second-ranked wind energy producer in terms of megawatts generated, following only Atchison County, which borders Nodaway to the west.
Projects there include the Cow Branch Wind Energy Project, a 50-plus megawatt installation developed by Wind Capital Group and John Deere Capital; the Farmers City Wind Power Project, a 146-megawatt wind farm built by the Spanish company Iberdrola Renewables near Tarkio; and the Loess Hills Wind Project, a 5 megawatt Wind Capital installation that allowed the City of Rock Port to become the first community in the United States capable of using wind power to meet 100 percent of its annual electricity needs.
Atchison County is also home to the Rock Creek Wind Farm, a $500 million project developed by Tradewind and constructed by Enel Green Power North America. According to reports, Rock Creek, which was commissioned last year, can generate 300 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 100,000 homes.
Built across 40,000 acres, Rock Creek stands on property leased from 250 landowners and is expected to provide about $90 million in property tax revenue and land lease payments over the next two decades.
Additional wind farms in northwest Missouri include installations in DeKalb and Gentry counties.
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