Enel Green Power North America (EGP), owner and operator of the Rock Creek wind farm located in Atchison County, presented $120,000 in financial support toward community needs in Tarkio on Thursday, May 30. Rock Creek Site Supervisor Corey Martin joined State Rep. Allen Andrews and other local officials for presentations to Tarkio’s public school district, police and EMS services, volunteer fire department and rodeo grounds.
EGP is invested in Missouri and committed to the long-term sustainability of the communities where it operates, supporting initiatives that are critical to the community and representative of Enel’s core sustainability platform. This includes renovating the former ShopKo building downtown for use as an operations center, providing funds to stabilize wetland habitats at the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge and joining other community partners to help re-establish Tarkio College.
“With appreciation for the value Tarkio adds to our business, it’s our privilege as Enel Green Power to create shared value in this community,” said Corey Martin, site supervisor for Rock Creek. “Tarkio is my hometown, so I’m especially proud to be a part of this partnership with my neighbors.”
Investing in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) initiatives is a key focus of EGP. In Tarkio, the company presented $30,000 to the Tarkio R-I School District to fund a science-tech curriculum, teacher training, and related materials, along with the development of a vocational/technical program to support early technical career paths and associated skills. This will be the first such program in the county and will provide local-level programs currently available in communities more than an hour away. As the wind industry continues to grow in the region, this program will help develop a skilled workforce for the benefit of both local residents and EGP.
EGP also presented the school district with $30,000 to upgrade lighting and sound systems for the school theater, improving both energy efficiency and performance. The theater will be used jointly by all grade levels while also hosting community events and a traveling summer theater program. Over two-thirds of the student population participate in the theater and drama programs.
“We find Enel to be very supportive of the community and the school district,” said Superintendent Karma Coleman. “Both have benefitted tremendously from not just the financial support but also the support in general: hiring within the community, investments in the community, serving on committees to keep the community going. They don’t just say they support us – they show that they support us.”
EGP presented the Tarkio Volunteer Fire Department with $40,000 toward emergency response equipment. The department recently purchased a rescue vehicle that is capable of deployment on rough terrain and in treacherous weather conditions. EGP employees and the local community rely on the department to respond with speed and agility in emergency situations, particularly because its jurisdiction encompasses a large, rural area.
“This support made the difference between having a new truck and not being able to have one,” said Tarkio Fire Chief Shane Bredensteiner. “Without Enel’s support, we would not have been able to do what we did. It made a huge impact.”
For further enhancement of Tarkio’s emergency response capabilities, EGP presented the City of Tarkio with $10,000 designated for new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and associated equipment for use in each of Tarkio’s police cars, at the Tarkio community center and at the Tarkio City Hall. Tarkio’s EMS and police department provide health and safety response for Tarkio residents, businesses (including EGP) and visitors. They also coordinate regular security patrols and site training programs with the EGP team.
“We want to thank Enel for their participation in this program, bringing a total of five AEDs that we didn’t have before to aid with first responders responding to cardiac events,” said Police Chief Tyson Gibbons. “We’re very pleased to have those as a tool.”
Tarkio hosts an annual rodeo in June as part of the state and national professional and amateur rodeo circuit. A key tourism event for the community, the rodeo is a regional draw that attracts visitors to experience Tarkio’s culture and contribute to its economy. In an effort to maintain the rodeo grounds, EGP contributed $10,000 to the Tarkio Rodeo Association to support renovation of the main arena seating and the installation of low-energy LED lighting.
“It’s hard to get donations in small towns, but this support will help us for the next 50 years,” said Stephen Thomson, president of the Tarkio Rodeo Association. “We’re extremely grateful.”
In Missouri, EGP currently operates the 300 MW Rock Creek wind farm and is preparing to construct the new 236.5 MW White Cloud wind farm in Nodaway County, which will supply power to Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Enel Green Power North America, part of the Renewable Energies division of the Enel Group, is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants in North America with projects operating and under development in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.