BOONE COUNTY, Mo. – Some farmers near Harrisburg are concerned about a proposed wind development project in northern Boone County.
The German-based company E.ON Climate & Renewables wants to build wind turbines around Harrisburg. The company said it would pay for the initial development of the project and, if it is built, it would receive a federal tax credit for every megawatt-hour of energy produced.
It said the money it pays in property taxes will put money into the local economy.
According to the company, the project could take a minimum of two to three years to develop before it starts. The company said it likes the location due to its wind resources and ability to transmit power.
E.ON says if plans move forward, the company would lease land. Those who lease their land would receive a percentage of the money the company makes from the project.
A spokesperson said the company thinks it would be a good opportunity for the company and for those in the area.
E.ON said it contacted landowners and plans to hold a closed meeting with them March 13.
Some farmers in the area told ABC 17 News they are concerned about a lack of communication from the company about what it would mean for people to lease their land.
“If you’re on board with the project and you want turbines on your property, you need to contact an attorney that has a lot of knowledge with these types of land leases,” Ashley Ernst said. “You sign away a lot of your property rights. People don’t understand what they’re giving up.”
Ernst and her husband own 270 acres of land outside Harrisburg. They have livestock, including cattle, sheep, horses and more.
She said she made calls to people in Harrisburg, and out of everyone she called she only found one person who had actually heard about the project.
“It seems that companies don’t always do a good job of communicating with the neighborhood and the community, and I decided that that would be my job,” Ernst said.
Ernst and her husband received a letter on Feb. 15 from E.ON inviting them to a dinner, which is what made her decide to talk with her neighbors.
She said she is uncomfortable with putting turbines on her land because of a lack of research on how it affects wildlife and human health, and she said she needs to fully understand the pros and cons of these types of projects.
“Wind energy companies do a lot of studies. That’s not where I want my information to come from. I want an independent source of information,” she said.
Ernst is hosting a neighborhood meeting Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Harrisburg High School gym to inform people about the proposed development.
E.ON said landowners should feel free to reach out to developers if they have questions or concerns about the project.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding