The idea of a Missouri community producing 123% of its residential electrical demand using wind power is far from a futuristic pipe dream. It's been happening for about a year now, making Rock Port the first US community to be fully powered by the wind.
Wind speed maps make it clear that significant portions of Missouri have little potential for wind energy production. In fact, only 34 (or 30%) of Missouri's 115 counties have real potential. Economically strapped northwest Missouri shows the greatest potential, given today's technology.
After reaching 1,000 megawatts (MW) of wind energy capacity in 1985, it took the nation more than a decade to reach the 2,000 MW mark in 1999. Since then installed capacity has reached 26,274 MW (as of 31 Jan 09). As new technology comes online, Missouri's late start and presently limited output (163 MW with a capacity potential of 5,960 MW) may be able to be overcome.
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