Plans to build a 50-megawatt wind energy center west of Exeter are currently in the research stage, according to the Missouri-based wind energy developer that is spearheading the project.
"We have a meteorological tower up in Exeter, and we are continuing to monitor wind resources in the area," said Tony Wyche, spokesman for Wind Capital Group. "We have obtained a good deal of data regarding wind speeds, direction and other information.
"The information will let us know what amount of wind is there and how reliable that wind is," said Wyche. "We will continue to monitor the information. We still plan to move foward with the project."
Wyche said the next step in the project planning process will be determined by the data that is collected from the meteorological tower. He could not estimate when the research portion of the planning process would be completed.
Plans for the wind farm were originally announced over two years ago. At that time, Wind Capital Group unveiled plans to place 30 wind turbines on property near Exeter owned by 16 different landowners.
In 2007, Dean Baumgardner, Wind Capital Group senior vice president, said the future of the project would depend on the company's ability to secure financing and locate wind turbines for the farm.
"Wind turbines are sold out worldwide for two years," Baumgardner said. "We're working with financial groups who have purchased turbines and might be interested in investing in this Barry County project."
Baumgardner also indicated that wind sources in southwest Missouri are not as strong as in northwest Missouri, where the company has completed its other wind farm projects.
Although the company was interested in pursing a wind farm project in southwest Missouri, Baumgardner said that the local project would be more expensive, because more turbines would be needed to capture wind energy.
Wyche was unsure if turbines had been located for the local project at this time.
Since Wind Capital Group was founded in 2004, it has constructed four wind farms in Missouri and developed two wind farms and began the planning stages for several other projects in 15 other states.
In 2006, the company founded the Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm in Gentry County and the Cow Branch Wind Energy Center in Atchison County. A year later, the Conception Wind Farm was founded in Nodaway County, and a wind farm was started in Franklin County, Iowa.
The Loess Hills Wind Farm was added in Atchison County in 2008. Last year, the company founded its first wind farm in Minnesota.
In October of 2009, Wind Capital Group announced that it had received $240 million for the 150-megawatt Lost Creek Wind Project in DeKalb County.
"Closing financing on Lost Creek ensures that we will maintain the momentum Wind Capital Group has built over the past year," said Wind Capital Founder founder Tom Carnahan, who is the son of the late Governor Mel Carnahan.
Construction on the Lost Creek project, which is the first Wind Capital Group will own and operate, began in July of 2009 and is expected to be completed in the spring of this year. When completed, the wind farm will provide enough electricity to power more than 50,000 homes.
If the Exeter wind farm becomes a reality, Wind Capital Group has estimated that it will produce enough electricity to serve 20,000 to 30,000 homes.