Missouri Town Goes Off the Grid

<p>Rock Port, Missouri, population 1300, has become the first community in the country with more wind power that it can use.</p>
August 4, 2008, 1pm PDT | franny.ritchie
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Small-town Missouri may seem like an unlikely place for a fully energy-independent community, but Rock Port native Eric Chamberlain came up with the idea after seeing a wind farm in Iowa and eventually convinced tractor company John Deere to invest. There are twenty-four wind turbines in and around Rock Port, four of which power the town.

"As Chamberlain looks at the turbines today, he says, 'Did I ever think this would happen? Naw, not in a million years. ... This is beyond my imagination.'"

Already, locals have seen the effect that wind power has had in shielding them from rising energy prices. Rock Port's population has been in decline for decades, but residents are optimistic that the turbines will generate excitement about the town as well as generate electricity.

Thanks to Franny Ritchie

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Published on Sunday, August 3, 2008 in National Public Radio
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