Legislative Review Of Missouri RPS Highlights Wind’s Economic Benefits

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Well-crafted legislation setting state renewable energy targets spurs job creation and economic development while helping to provide consumers with stable electricity prices, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

That's the message Missouri lawmakers received from testimony yesterday as they considered clarifications and improvements to the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

In a 2008 ballot initiative (Proposition C), Missouri voters approved by a 66% majority a law requiring utilities to diversify their energy mix through a 15% renewable energy target.

The law has gotten snagged up in the details of its implementation, underscoring the need for clarification by the state legislature. Among the issues, the Wind Coalition, an industry-supported trade association, is asking legislators to clarify the law's ‘sold to Missouri’ provision to ensure that the state's electric customers receive renewable energy as intended by the law and, in the process, receive the economic development and risk protection benefits as well.

Testifying on behalf of the Wind Coalition before the House Committee on Renewable Energy, Jeff Reinkemeyer of Iberdrola Renewables outlined the benefits that his company's 146 MW wind farm in Farmers City already provides Missouri.

The Iberdrola facility is infusing new tax funds into local jurisdictions and giving farmers and other landowners an added source of revenue, according to Reinkemeyer.

‘Farmers City provides $600,000 to $1 million in annual local taxes and approximately $365,000 annually to landowners,’ he said.

Missouri's 457 MW of wind generates $3 million in annual property tax payments and $1.3 million in annual land lease payments, according to AWEA.

A University of Missouri St. – Louis study in 2008 predicted Proposition C and its RPS would create 9,591 jobs and generate $2.86 billion in economic activity in the state over the next 20 years.

SOURCE: American Wind Energy Association

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