MARYVILLE, Mo. — Enel Green Power North America on Aug. 1 formally announced that it has begun construction of the long-planned 236-megawatt White Cloud wind farm west of Maryville.
According to Enel spokesperson Matt Epting, the project, when completed, will supply power to Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., a Springfield-based company that plans to wholesale electricity to several utilities, including United Electric, which provides power across much of rural Nodaway County.
White Cloud is Enel's second project in Missouri, the first being the 300-megawatt Rock Creek wind farm in Atchison County, which began operations in 2017.
An Enel release stated that the White Cloud installation is scheduled to go online sometime in 2020 and is projected to generate 950 gigawatt hours of power a year once fully operational.
Over the wind farm's estimated 25-year lifespan, Enel projects White Cloud will provide more than $43 million in local property tax revenue and around $56 million in landowner lease payments.
“We are pleased to continue bringing clean energy and new economic development to Missouri,” said Georg Becker-Birck, White Cloud's senior project manager. “The construction of White Cloud means economic growth for northwest Missouri and a diversified energy supply for citizens and businesses across the state.”
In the release, Enel pledged to “initiate activities that mitigate environmental impact during construction and identify opportunities which create long-term value for the community and the project”
Such initiatives associated with Rock Creek, the company stated, have included renovation of a former ShopKo building in Tarkio for use as a White Cloud/Rock Creek operations center, funding for the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge and a cooperative effort to re-establish Tarkio College.
The early stages of White Cloud's development were undertaken by Tradewind Energy before Enel acquired the initiative earlier this year. The release stated that Tradewind has been Enel Green Power’s “strategic development partner” since 2006 and has supported “the company’s growth in the U.S. wind market.”
Enel Green Power North America is part of Enel Group, an owner and operator of renewable energy plants across North America with projects operating or under development in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.
Once operational, White Cloud is expected to create eight or 10 permanent full-time positions paying about $70,000 each. During the 12- to 15-month construction period, the project will also support more than 250 temporary construction jobs.
Under an Enhanced Enterprise Zone agreement with Nodaway County, property taxes assessed to White Cloud will be reduced by about 50 percent compared to existing levies. That means the installation should generate approximately $1.4 million in new annual tax revenues, $900,000 of which will flow to local school districts including Nodaway-Holt R-VII.
Maryville R-II schools also will receive some wind farm tax money, but the impact on Maryville city government is essentially nil.
After the 17-year term of tax abatements expires, Enel will pay taxes at the normal rate, which will increase the yearly revenue stream from the project to $2.8 million a year.