Construction on a 100-turbine wind farm in the Minonk area is almost certain to begin in April, the project manager told the Woodford County board at the Sept. 20 meeting.
Duane Enger of Gamesa Energy USA introduced himself to the quorum of Woodford County board members at their Sept. 20 meeting. He said the company “intends to request building permits on Jan. 9.”
County Board Chairman Stan Glazier said the County approved the project more than a year ago.
“It’s been ready to go,” Glazier said. “All they’ve had to do is get their building permits.”
Part of the problem is that Gamesa can’t sell their energy, he said. Somebody has to buy the energy from the wind company.
Glazier said that Gamesa’s purchases of the building permits would mean about $360,000 in revenue for the county.
“It would help tremendously with our budget,” he said.
The county has started on the budget process, and Glazier said he expects it will be presented to the public in November.
Right now, the county is running at about a $210,000 deficit. Glazier said that’s about a wash, though. Board members typically project higher spending and lower revenue when they’re in the budget process. Because of that, he said, “I think we’ll be pretty much right on.”
The wind farm is a joint venture between Woodford and Livingston counties. Woodford will host 75 turbines near Minonk, with 25 spilling over into Livingston County toward Flanagan.
Wind energy from the turbines will generate up to 200 megawatts, according to Enger. He could not be reached for further comment.
Gamesa Energy, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, has four wind farms in the United States, including one in Mendota.
This article was for an Advanced Reporting class, in which we have been assigned beats to cover. This first assignment needed to be government-related. After reading the article by Nick Vlahos of the Peoria Journal Star on the energy broker debate, I thought I’d cover the wind story in a little more detail.