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Rock Port on Wind Power Map

Green Switch Celebration set for April 18 in northwest Missouri town.

Jerilyn Johnson

March 5, 2008

2 Min Read

Rock Port is not only the first 100% wind powered community in Missouri – it can stake claim to being the first in the United States. To celebrate the achievement, a Green Switch Celebration will be held Friday, April 18 in the northwest Missouri town.

Rock Port's 100% wind power status is due to four wind turbines located on agricultural lands within the city limits. Known as the Loess Hills Wind Farm, the project was financed by the Wind Capital Group and John Deere Credit, which also was behind construction of the nearby Cow Branch Wind Farm.

The community of 1,300 people uses approximately 13 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year. Wind energy experts predict that these four turbines will produce 16 million kilowatt hours each year. Excess wind-generated electricity not used by Rock Port homes and businesses will move onto the transmission lines to be purchased by the Missouri Joint Municipal Utilities for use in other areas. This makes Rock Port the first community in America capable of meeting its entire annual electricity demands from wind power, according to Ann Schlueter, director of the Atchison County Development Corporation.

"It is a real energy and economic boost for the city of Rock Port," says Eric Chamberlain, a Rock Port resident who serves on the Green Switch Celebration committee. "It the long run, our city utilities will decrease. We will no longer have to pay the line loss surcharge or shared transmission line fee that most cities incur.

The public is invited to join Rock Port in celebration of its "first in the nation" status at the Memorial Building from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 18. You can view exhibits relating to the wind industry as well as other renewable energy source. Special tours for school groups can also be arranged. The switch throwing ceremony is set for 11:30 a.m. on Main Street.

Read more about wind power in the March issue of Missouri Ruralist. For more information on the Rock Port "Green Switch Celebration, contact Ann Schlueter, director of Atchison County Development Corp., at 660-744-6562, or visit the Web site: www.rockportwind.com.

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