Kirksville Daily Express | August 21, 2019
Local school districts will be a major beneficiary of the High Prairie Wind Farm facility that will soon be under construction in northeast Missouri.
K-REDI Executive Director Carolyn Chrisman told the K-REDI board Wednesday that Ameren Missouri has estimated a combined $1.2 million in annual tax payments to school districts in Schuyler and Adair counties. It will break down to $600,000 for the Schuyler County School District, and $600,000 for school districts in Adair County. A further breakdown of the latter won’t be known until final wind turbine locations are determined within Adair County’s different school district borders.
“That is a minimum,” Chrisman said. “It can always go higher.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson in July signed House Bill 220 into law, changing Missouri statutes to keep taxes generated by wind farm facilities in the area where those facilities exist. Previously, a facility such as the one that will be built in northeast Missouri would have its tax revenues spread across the entire service area of its owner, in this case Ameren Missouri.
The High Prairie Wind Farm is projected to generate $32 million in property, sales and income taxes over 25 years. Thanks to HB 220, all of that money will remain in Schuyler and Adair counties, with the bulk going to public schools.
The project itself has also overcome a final hurdle toward its construction, as both the Schuyler County Zoning Commission and later the Schuyler County Commission amended county laws to allow building permits for wind farm construction.
A recent discovery that language added to Schuyler County law in 1990 – and subsequently forgotten about – provided a momentary pause in the process.
Now, Chrisman reported the project is moving ahead, with access roads soon to be built and concrete to be poured this fall.
When complete, the High Prairie Wind Farm will have 175 wind turbines and generate enough electricity to power 120,000 homes.
Chrisman told the board there is another project in the works in Knox County, and that she was recently contacted by a solar energy provider regarding the possibility of a solar farm.
“That Mark Twain Transmission Line has really opened up the door to generation of renewable energy to be transmitted to the grid from our area,” Chrisman said.