Several hundred wind turbines could be in and around Bureau County within the next few years.
South of Bureau County, the Camp Grove Wind Farm will be 100 turbines strong when completed by Thanksgiving. The new wind farm is spread across 14,000 acres in Marshall and Stark counties.
Turner Hunt, project manager for the Camp Grove Wind Farm LLC, said Stark County will have 40 turbines and Marshall County will have 60 turbines. Construction started April 15 and should be completed Nov. 15; the wind farm is expected to be operational the week after Thanksgiving.
Hunt said the wind farm is owned by Camp Grove Wind Farm LLC, with Orion Energy Group as the majority owner of that group. About 120 landowners are participating in the project, he said.
The Camp Grove Wind Farm will have a 150 megawatt capability. A substation has been built about a mile north of Camp Grove on Route 40. About half of the electricity produced by the Camp Grove Wind Farm will be sold to American Electric Power; the other half is to be sold on a merchant basis.
The Camp Grove Wind Farm is a a several hundred million dollar project, Hunt said.
“Wind energy is a very important energy resource,” Hunt said. “It’s an environmentally-friendly resource and creates a lot of electricity with zero carbon emission.”
As time goes on, the zero carbon emission will become more and more an important concern. Wind energy can be used to generate electricity at a competitive rate to traditional methods, like coal, gas or even nuclear, he added.
Within Bureau County, the Crescent Ridge LLC wind farm has received approval for and built 33 wind turbines in Milo and Indiantown Town-ships, Bureau County Zoning Officer Kris Donarski said.
The Bureau County Board has also granted Eurus Crescent Ridge LLC conditional use permits to build a maximum of 35 turbines in Milo and Indiantown Townships. However, no building permits for this project have been requested at this time, Donarski said.
Crescent Ridge Wind II LLC (Midwest), now known as Providence Heights Wind LLC, has been granted conditional use and issued building permits for the construction of 36 turbines. Those turbines will also be in Milo and Indiantown townships, Donarski said.
Also in Indiantown Township, AgriWind LLC has been granted conditional use and building permits for four wind turbines, now erected. AgriWind II LLC is in the process of obtaining conditional use to build three additional turbines, also in Section 7 of Indiantown township; the developers have requested the applications be tabled for now.
In northern Bureau County, the Bureau County Board approved 57 conditional use permits in July 2006 for the Big Sky Wind LLC project, which will stretch north of Ohio into Lee County. Between Bureau and Lee counties, Big Sky Wind is expected to have about 100 turbines. The developers of the Big Sky Wind project have not yet requested building permits from Bureau County, Donarski said.
In northwest Bureau County, developers of Walnut Ridge Wind LLC have received conditional use and building permits to place two meteorological towers on property in Manlius and Walnut townships. No other conditional use permits have been requested for the Walnut Ridge project.
By Donna Barker
13 October 2007
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