Cause for Community Celebration: New Missouri Wind Farm Dedicated Today in Atchison County
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June 18, 2010
TARKIO, Mo. — The community of Atchison County came together today to celebrate the state's newest and largest commercial-scale wind farm, the Farmers City Wind Power Project.
Located near Tarkio in the northwest corner of the state, the Farmers City Wind Power Project produces enough energy to power 33,000 homes each year.
The dedication event featured Atchison County Commissioner Marlin Logan, Atchison County Development Corporation Director Eileen Irvine, project landowners, local youth from the Tarkio Boys Club, 4-H and Boy Scouts, as well as guests from throughout the community.
Taking its name from a historic farmers market that was located within the wind farm's boundaries, the Farmers City Wind Power Project features 73 Gamesa wind turbines that generate 146 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy.
"I am thrilled to celebrate a project that chose Atchison County as its home, not only because of the substantial benefits it has brought and will bring to this community, but because it reflects the hard work and cooperation that made it happen," said Marlin Logan, the presiding Atchison County Commissioner. "As one of the first counties in the state to establish an enhanced enterprise zone, we were able to use powerful economic development tools to help attract the Farmers City Wind Project, which provided a real economic boost to the area and will be a symbol of energy produced right here at home."
In addition to the production of renewable energy, Iberdrola Renewables developed Farmers City with a focus on the local economic benefits of the project construction and operation. During the peak of Farmers City's construction in 2009, up to 150 jobs were created.
The project also supports the local economy through lease payments to local landowners and tax payments to the county.
"The 44 local landowners are not the only ones to benefit from the 73 wind turbine Farmers City Project," said Eileen Irvine, the Director of the Atchison County Development Corporation. "Tax dollars generated from the project help Atchison County pay for roads, services and most notably schools. We are proud and pleased to welcome Iberdrola Renewables to Atchison County and call them our neighbors."
"We are so grateful to the community and all of our partners for helping us develop a wind farm that's providing homegrown energy and jobs," said Mark Stacy, development director at Iberdrola Renewables. "Farmers City is a wind farm that we can all be proud to celebrate, that so many people here today had a hand in, and we look forward to celebrating future projects with the community as well."
The wind farm encompasses about 14,000 acres of land leased from 44 local landowners, yet the project footprint covers less than one percent of the project's total acreage. The land continues to be used for corn and soybean farming.
"The Farmers City country store opened on my husband's grandfather's land in 1923, and even though the store is no longer around, I am happy that this wind farm will carry on the name, and that my family can continue to farm this land for generations to come," said Lyllis Vette, one of the project landowners.
Iberdrola Renewables is the world's leading provider of wind power with more than 10,000 MW of renewable energy in operation globally, and more than 3,500 MW of that wind power located in the U.S. Iberdrola Renewables Inc. is an American company, incorporated in the U.S. and headquartered in Portland, Ore., with 800 employees, and offices and wind farms in 20 states. www.iberdrolarenewables.us
Atchison County Development Corporation works diligently to improve economic opportunities in Atchison County and enhance the stability of the county's business climate. In addition to working with incentives for new businesses, the staff provides direct support to assist entrepreneurial companies as well as community organizations. www.atchisoncounty.org
Atchison County, with 6,036 residents, is located in the extreme northwest corner of Missouri and has a proven track record of supporting, enhancing and recruiting industry through the use of their economic development tools.
Art Sasse, Director, Communications & Brand, Iberdrola Renewables, 503-796-7740
Paul Copleman, Media Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, 207-641-2805
Stefanie Week, CMD Agency on behalf of Iberdrola Renewables, 503-488-4400, mobile: 503-830-9236