UNION TWP. – A second wind energy company vying for space in Champaign County will continue its pursuit in spite of grant money awarded to a competitor last week.
Invenergy, a Chicago-based developer of wind energy products, is one of two companies that has begun the process of measuring wind speed in Union Township and plans to progress toward wind energy development in the area, said Eric Miller, the company’s senior development manager.
“Our plans have not changed. We’re still moving ahead,” he said.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced Thursday that Invenergy’s competitor, EverPower Renewables – a New York-based wind product developer – would receive up to $3 million for its planned Buckeye Wind project in Champaign and Logan counties, estimated for completion by June 30, 2009.
Invenergy did not apply for the grant money and will not be deterred from the area by the funding, Miller said.
“We see the most significant aspect as this being the state stepping up and being supportive of wind energy in the future,” he said. “It’s still a step in the right direction. It shows the state is committed to it.”
Local residents who oppose the wind projects have said they are concerned with the lack of regulations in place for wind turbine placement.
The EverPower plan proposes that wind turbines be built through Union and Wayne townships and continue north into Logan County.
Invenergy’s focus will remain only in Champaign County, Miller said.
Invenergy has eight completed wind projects across the country and three under construction, Miller said.
It is not uncommon for two companies to compete for the same wind generation area, he said, adding that sometimes one or both complete projects.
“No one knows how it will play out here,” he said. “But we certainly think there’s a good project here.”
The Union Township Zoning Commission will meet at 7 tonight at the Champaign County Community Center auditorium to discuss wind turbine resolutions.
By Natalie Morales
5 September 2007
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