Wind energy equals Missouri opportunity


By Lucas Nelsen, former staff member

The Midwest and Great Plains is an area that has a bright future in renewable energy, especially in rural areas where space and resources are abundant. Besides bringing cheap and clean energy to these states, renewable energy also brings new manufacturing and income sources that can reinvigorate local economies. Tapping into renewable resources like wind and providing homes and businesses the opportunity to use this renewable power is the first step to bringing these benefits to rural communities.
For Missouri, it isn’t just about the amount of wind energy that is in the state, but how close Missouri is to states that have continued to grow their wind industries. This provides a chance for Missouri to develop its own resources, purchase cheap and renewable energy from its neighbors, and boost manufacturing in the state by building the structures and parts required to construct wind turbines.
Missouri has already started to capitalize on the state’s position, with 10 manufacturing facilities for associated parts calling the state home. These facilities, along with wind farms in the state, have helped bring about 1,000 jobs to Missouri. The state has also been able to use local renewable energy and energy from its neighbors to meet renewable energy standards, and deliver clean energy to Missouri communities.
But an important part of delivering this renewable energy is the infrastructure to move it from where it is generated, to the homes and business that can use it. Building this new transmission requires that local regulators, developers, and communities work together to determine the best way to build new infrastructure. Transmission development can also offer benefits to local communities and landowners in the form of new tax revenue and easement payments, which can make a big difference to small towns and farmers.
Having the transmission in place to transport renewable energy is key to continuing the trend of new wind energy development, and allowing people across the Midwest to access clean energy when they need it. As Missouri continues to grow the state’s economy, it’s essential that the state has access to affordable power, and wind energy produced locally and from neighboring states fits the bill.