Wind power is nothing new and many Americans have seen what the destructive force of wind can do. But, today, as more and more people seek more energy efficient, green ways to live and cost effective ways to find power, wind farms are beinning to dot the American countryside. The Bluegrass Ridge Farm near King City, Missouri, is the Show-Me State’s first commercial wind farm and the wind turbines are generating more than just electricity.
Wind farms are designed to create a new source of renewable energy, something beyond the coal powered electric plants of yesteryear. Wind farms utilize a natural force and by doing so, wind farms also can cut air pollution as they produce clean electric power.
The Bluegrass Ridge Farm near tiny King City stretches across the fertile Missouri farmland over 9,000 acres. Those acres are filled with wind turbines – a modern version of the traditional rural windmills – with blades that are as long as a football field. Those massive spinning blades – powered by the wind – create electricity for the surrounding area in a clean, effcient manner. Bluegrass Ridge has twenty seven turbines, three more than the average.
That’s not the sole benefit of this wind farm, however. In the region located well to the northeast of giant, sprawling Kansas City and not too far from the historic river front town of St. Joseph, King City is the market center for a region that has been traditionally rural. The area once was known for producing both cattle and grain. With most of St. Joseph’s stockyards now just history, raising cattle has become less lucrative in recent years.
Located in Gentry County, King City is far from the major highways and interstates that criss cross Missouri and the quiet rural life here hearkens back to an earlier age for many. But such bucolic bliss doesn’t bring many visitors – or much money -into the region so the new wind farm is a blessing in more ways than one.
Until the dedication celebration of the Bluegrass Ridge Farm in mid-September 2007, the biggest tourist draw in King City was a 25 foot high replica of an old-fashioned electric gas pump known locally as “The Big Pump”. With the slogan “Buy Gas Now”, this was the one thing that some tourists traveled a few extra miles to see. The region has also been known for the bluegrass, a heritage preserved in the name of the new commercial wind farm.
At the dedication, more than five hundred onlookers came to be part of the historic ceremony. That’s not quite half of the everyday population of King City, a sizeable amoount.
Potential plans to build a local visitor’s center are in the works as more and more of the curious come to the small rural community of King City, Missouri to see the commercial wind farm and more.
Another perk of the Bluegrass Ridge farm is that the operation, as a commerical wind farm, should pay more than a half million dollars in property taxes to the Gentry County Missouri tax collector next year. A large part of that tax money will go toward the King City School District, thus benefiting local education and schools. Such an additional amount of money will go a long way toward providing the local schools with necessary items to outfit students for life in the 21st century.
The Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm, as the first commercial wind farm in Missouri, is making history, generating electricity, and bringing prosperity to King City, Missouri! Long range plans for two more commerical wind farms in this area of Missouri and when completed, the three wind farms will produce enough power to light 45,000 homes. The three 50-megawatt wind facilities are being developed and built in northwest Missouri by Wind Capital Group and John Deere Wind Energy.
Commerical wind farms are the wave of the future and as alternative energy sources become more and more necessary, look for you near you!