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Wind energy picking up momentum in Northwest Missouri

MARYVILLE, Mo. – Northwest Missouri is soon to be home to a new energy farm as the wind industry continues picking up momentum.

Tenaska, a Nebraska-based energy firm, has started development on the Clear Creek Energy Center north of Maryville in Nodaway County that is anticipated to begin producing power within three years, the News-Press Now reported Tuesday.

“Northwest Missouri still offers the very best wind resources found in the entire state, and wind is a growing source of energy nationwide,” Eric Chamberlain, a resident of the region who has been working with Tenaska in blueprinting the project, told the News-Press Now, crediting other leaders in the area with helping foster the technology.

A renewed interest in Missouri’s wind projects is due to an increased energy production from improved turbine and blade technology, according to Chamberlain.

“The very same size turbines simply produce more energy now than they did in 2008,” he told the News-Press Now.

The American Wind Energy Association said that costs are decreasing, with the number of jobs inside the industry rising.

“Wind power has proven to be a cash crop for farmers and ranchers, and an economic boon to rural communities,” Peter Kelley, AWEA’s vice president for public affairs, told the News-Press Now. “We’re grateful to wind power champions in Congress for helping to make sure important language made it into the recent tax reform bill, so this success story can continue.”

Jobs in the wind industry are now growing nine times faster than the overall U.S. economy, according to Kelley.

“We believe utilities and major consumers will keep buying wind energy to lock in low prices and diversify their energy portfolio, making the grid more reliable and resilient,” he added.

The Clear Creek project is currently set for 2019, with commercial operations to commence no later than 2020 and with a targeted lifespan of 30 years.