Horizon Wind Energy may expand the Twin Groves Wind Farm in eastern McLean County. Workers began erecting the first towers of the 240-turbine wind farm over the weekend. Twin Groves should be partially operational at the end of the year with 120 turbines complete.
Workers will then begin the second phase of construction on the other 120 turbines.
“We’re looking at a possible third phase, too,” said project manager Bill Whitlock, of Horizon. “We’d have to talk to landowners and go back to the county for permits.”
Whitlock didn’t have an exact location or know how many turbines a third phase would add. He said the addition would be “significantly” smaller than the other 120-turbine phases.
Original plans for the project included up to 267 turbines. Current permits allow for 240 on about 50 square miles near Arrowsmith, Ellsworth and Saybrook, Whitlock said.
The $500 million project should take 150 to 200 acres of farmland out of production.
It will generate 400 megawatts of energy, enough to power 120,000 homes. The electricity will become part of the Commonwealth Edison grid, which serves the Chicago area.
Horizon also plans a wind farm at Blackstone in northern Livingston County. Construction there is projected to start in spring 2008 and conclude that December.
By Scott Miller
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