Unbeknownst to many, Callaway County has become a hotbed of behind-the-scenes activity in the last couple of years as the government’s ‘climate crisis’ narrative and ‘green energy’ push has intensified.
Add in all the government tax credits and subsidies the Biden administration is offering and you have a market ripe for companies looking for easy targets to make big profits.
Solar Farm Developers Crept and Crawled Into Callaway County
The first proposed solar project to come to light in Callaway County was in New Bloomfield in 2021. Since then, we’ve learned that several farmers and landowners in the Kingdom City and Hatton area quietly signed leases with solar farm developers.
If the solar developers exercise their option to put the land they have leased into solar farms, their leases will be for around 30 to 40 years. Thousands of acres of land and many homeowners will be affected by this massive industrial-scale solar invasion.
With their sweet promises of steady and predictable incomes and low impact on the use of the property, these developers have all painted a rosy picture.
Time will tell for sure, but the old saying “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” seems to ring true from the evidence we continue to uncover online. As more wind and solar projects go in all over the U.S., more horror stories are coming out and will continue to. It’s basic math.
The law of large numbers
The law of large numbers is a fundamental concept in probability theory. It states that, as the number of trials or experiments increases, the average of the results of those experiments will converge to the expected value. In other words, as the sample size increases, the average of the observed results will become more and more representative of the true value.
Unfortunately, many of the companies making these wonderful promises have not been in business for more than a few years. Therefore, they have no historical data on how low of an impact they make on the property because they have no long-term projects out there they can point to.
Also, being set up as LLCs, the owners are protected if the company shuts down or goes bankrupt, including as a result of the government subsidies stopping. Solar developers also tend to sell their projects, sometimes numerous times, making getting those promises fulfilled, much harder.
All one has to do is look at our Testimonials page to see the firsthand destruction and noise these solar farms cause. They are LOUD during the construction phase and once they are up and running, despite every single company telling the local residents they wouldn’t be. They all also claim there will be no glare off the panels. That too, is incorrect.
The proof of the deception of these companies is all over our Testimonials page, so make sure you look at and share it with your neighbors, because this is what our new way of life will look and sound like if these companies get their way.
It’s all about the Money
Sadly, by choosing to lease out their land for solar farms, the farmers and landowners have opened the door to other “green” projects, including transmission lines, with the authority to use eminent domain, to pour into our rural community.
If we had all been united against our community being turned into an industrial green energy area instead of divided by opportunity for ourselves at whatever cost to our neighbors, these companies would likely have moved on.
With no idea that our county and rural community was being targeted by companies wanting to turn it into a giant ugly and noisy industrial green energy area, both local and state levels of government were caught unprepared without any sort of specific guidelines in place.
That included any laws or ordinances in place to protect all the homeowners who would suddenly find themselves living next to ugly, noisy, potentially harmful, industrial projects with no restrictions of any kind.
Instead of being forthcoming and transparent with their intentions, these companies, many of which are foreign-owned, have chosen to be sneaky and secretive to try to get their way.
With all the government subsidies, estimated at almost $50,000 per acre, and tax breaks, there is too much profit at stake for these companies to risk getting any pushback from residents.
That’s why NDAs are used on farmers and landowners to secure the land, and development plans are already well along before anyone even knows anything about them. It’s all by design.
Here are the proposed projects we’re aware of:
• Show Me State Solar Project (via Ranger Power): 14 landowners, 5,820 acres leased north of Kingdom City
• Golden Harvest Solar Project (via Savion): 6 landowners, 2,350 acres leased west of Hatton
• Guthrie Solar Project (via NextEra): 5 landowners, 600 acres leased in New Bloomfield
• Grain Belt Express is a for-profit private company given public utility status in 2019 by the Public Service Commission that allows them to use eminent domain. In October ’23 to Missouri Public Commission approved their request to build a 40-mile ‘Tiger Connector‘ transmission line that will connect with the McCredie and most likely (currently under construction) Burns substations north of Kingdom City
• Burns Power Station (owned by Ameren, to serve as Interconnection by Ranger Power): 14-acre facility for the Show Me State Solar Project’s electricity transmission located north of Kingdom City near McCredie substation has recently begun construction
In addition, we’ve been told that an additional 518 acres have been leased to an unknown solar company.
With the confirmed parcels leased, that will mean that if these projects become reality, there will be 8,770 acres or nearly 14 square miles of land leased for solar farms in Callaway County. That figure doesn’t include the possible 518-acre parcel since we cannot confirm a lease is for sure signed. (as of August 2023)
Grain Belt Express and Tiger Connector Details
In addition to the solar and possible wind turbine companies trying to force their way into Callaway County, the county has also been targeted by Grain Belt Express.
Grain Belt Express is trying to run a 5,000 MW high-voltage transmission line to carry wind turbine-generated electricity through Missouri from Kansas to Indiana. Along that route, they intend to connect to the McCredie power substation, and the new Burns substation if approved by grid officials, to offload their electricity via the ‘Tiger Connector’.
This line, proposed to be built near our homes and across our fields and pastures on approximately 160 ft. tall towers, will be capable of carrying 2,500 MW. Despite no real customers to speak of and very few affected landowners willing to sign over their property rights, in October (2023) the PSC approved Grain Belt’s request to build the Tiger Connector.
At a Public Service Commission (PSC) hearing in March 2023 on approving Grainbelt’s request for the ‘Tiger Connector’ line, many landowners spoke out against it, sharing their bad experiences with Grain Belt Express.
From seniors being threatened to landowners being lied to about being the only ones to not sign their agreement, there were a number of stories depicting what kind of company Grain Belt Express is and how they feel about those whose land they want to take.
One farmer who was concerned about some trees his cattle calved in being removed for the transmission line, was told by Grain Belt Express that the line wouldn’t be moved to accommodate his cattle.
To summarize, a privately owned, FOR-PROFIT company has been granted the right by the Missouri Public Service Commission to FORCE Callaway County and residents from neighboring counties to give up their land for this possibly dangerous transmission line, so the company can make money on the renewable electricity generated that it is mostly sending out-of-state, from wind and solar projects most people don’t want.
The Solar Farms, Wind Turbines, and Transmission Line Relationship
While we currently don’t have any confirmed wind turbine projects in Callaway County, our county commissioners have recently been approached by at least one wind turbine developer to see what ordinances there are that would restrict them.
While wind and solar farms, as well as transmission lines, may seem harmless and actually good for our area and the climate crisis, they are anything but. In addition to being an unreliable source of energy, there are numerous downsides, including severe health issues that can be caused by them, which we share here on our ‘FACTS PAGE’ and here on our ‘TESTIMONIALS’ page.
Eminent domain being exercised by a private, for-profit company also sets a dangerous precedent for other companies to use for their own personal monetary gain.
Some residents are for the wind and solar, but against the transmission lines, but what they don’t understand is that all of these companies are connected. The solar and wind companies need the transmission lines to move their generated electricity. The transmission lines need the wind and solar farms to use their lines to move the electricity.
The companies will tell you that’s not true, but like the long list of things they say to try to get their way and all the money being thrown at them for getting it, it IS the truth. Documents they file with organizations like the PSC (Public Service Commission) to get approval for these projects, confirm that.
Speak Up and Save Our County
The only way to defend this invasion of our county is for everyone in Callaway County to speak up.
It only takes a few minutes to call or send an email letting every local, state and U.S. representative and decision-making committee know your opposition.
While you may not be directly affected by any of these projects right now, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be at some point. So much money has been thrown at these renewable companies by our government, it’s naive to think the above projects will be the only ones.
At a hearing at the Capitol regarding a tax bill being proposed against solar, one lobbyist stood up and said they planned to acquire 80,000 acres in Missouri for solar.
While we don’t know if that was just one company’s goals or a combined number, regardless, that’s a pretty staggering number of acres turned into industrial solar fields. That’s also a large number of people and their enjoyment of their homes being affected.
Like a plague of money-grubbing locusts moving through our area, these companies will leave ugliness and ruin in their wake. The land and landscape will forever be changed by these companies seeking only to use our land and risk our health, for their monetary gain.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Contact your local county commissioners and tell them you DO NOT WANT wind turbines, solar farms, or the Grain Belt Express transmission line in our county.
Callaway County has no need for any of the electricity that will be generated and right now, these companies have very few customers in Missouri. Instead, the electricity generated in our rural areas will be shipped out of state.
Let the commissioners know that we don’t want this ugly, unreliable, and dangerous alternative energy taking up our valuable farmland, decreasing our property values, and turning our beautiful county into an industrial green energy mess.
Eastern District Commissioner
Western District Commissioner
County Commissioners Phone Number: (573) 642-0737
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm (Closed for lunch from 12:00 -1:00)
Address: Callaway County Courthouse, 10 East 5th Street, Fulton, MO 65251 (Basement of the courthouse)
Contact your state and U.S. representatives and senators and let them know you oppose these companies destroying our beautiful county.
Show your support by reading over this entire website to get all the details of what’s happening and why, putting up a yard sign, talking to friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors about how big this issue is, and making your opposition known to our county commissioners, state and U.S. representatives, and the Missouri Public Service Commission.
Few people actually understand the scope of this invasion and how, thanks to big government incentives, it’s being done in rural communities in every state using the same sneaky tactics. Tactics that are moving us towards destroying the peace and beauty of our rural life, potentially harming our health, ruining valuable farmland and property values, and all while working to build an unreliable electric grid.
In order to save our county from all of this, every citizen MUST act so the opposition is overwhelming.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates about local and state happenings related to our fight against wind, solar, and transmission lines. You’ll also be notified of upcoming meetings and Capitol visits to urge our state legislators to pass laws helping us to have a say against these corporations that are invading our county.
Join our local Facebook groups to get the latest updates from local and state news, to what’s happening in other states’ fights against wind and solar projects, as well as topics about the no-so-green ‘green’ industry.
Callaway County Missouri Commercial Social Invasion Facebook Page
New Bloomfield Citizens Against Solar Facebook Page
If you are a landowner and are interested in joining with other Mid-Missouri landowners to fight against wind, solar, and transmission lines, including putting up yard signs, attending capitol meetings with lawmakers and public service commission hearings, and helping in the fight and to spread the word, you are invited to join Mid Missouri Landowners Alliance (MMLA). Send an email to email@example.com for more information.
Visit the websites below to get updates from other Missouri counties’ fight against wind/solar/transmission lines and learn more.
(Local, national, and worldwide news on wind, solar, Grain Belt Express) Facebook Pages: Audrain County, MO•Grain Belt & Solar Invasion, Concerned Citizens of Boone, Howard, and Cooper Counties, MO, and No to Solar & Wind Farms in Macon County Missouri
(Northeast Missouri wind turbine fight, progress, and living with wind turbines) Website: Northeast Missouri Wind Energy Information
(Robert Bryce is an author, journalist, film producer, and podcaster who has been writing about energy, power, innovation, and politics for more than 30 years) Substack Articles: https://robertbryce.substack.com/archive