COLUMBIA, Mo. - Some Harrisburg-area landowners stand to make thousands of dollars from a company that wants to pay them for the rights to put wind turbines on their properties.
The German based company E.ON Climate and Renewables is working to build wind turbines in the Harrisburg area. E.ON held a closed meeting Wednesday with landowners in the area to discuss what the wind farm project would mean.
Boone County Commissioner Fred Parry attended that meeting and said Thursday that landowners who agree to lease their land will get between $15,000 and $20,000 per wind turbine. Parry said the leases have a minimum of 30 years.
However, local landowner Ashley Ernst, who was also at the meeting, said E.ON told landowners they would get between $10,000 and $15,000 to lease their land.
There is also conflicting information as to the actual size of the turbines.
Ernst said the turbines would be around 540 feet tall. Parry said the turbines would be 499 feet tall, including the blades because of regulations that kick in at 500 feet.
An E.ON spokesperson told ABC 17 News it is too early in the project to know how large the turbines will be.
Parry said landowners who did not agree to having a turbine on their land could get $1,500 per year to have their acreage included in the project. Ernst, however, said E.ON said it would give landowners $1,500 to have an attorney look at the contract offered.
E.ON would not comment on those statements.
Parry said the project will generate 150 million megawatts of energy. That would add to the total in a state that significantly lags behind its neighbors in wind energy consumption
Missouri consumes considerably less wind energy than neighboring states such as Iowa.
However, documents given to landowners by E.ON say the state has available resources to greatly increase its wind production.
E.ON said projects such as this one usually bring 200 to 300 jobs during construction, and around 10 or more to run normal operations.
The company said it tries to hire local and to use locally sourced materials.
Boone County Planning and Zoning held a work session to set out a groundwork for meetings to craft regulations that would apply to wind farms.
The group will look at other states' regulations and mold them to fit Boone County's personality.