MONMOUTH, Illinois – The Warren County Board is giving the green light to a new wind farm. The project totals more than $30 million in private investment. It’s a way to power the future when it begins operating in less than three years.
After studying the project’s potential, it didn’t take long to get a unanimous approval on Wednesday to bring wind power to Warren County.
“It’s a major project in the U.S., and it ought to be,” said Board Chairman Bill Reichow. “It’s getting us away from the use of oil.”
The county-owned farm land that joins Highway 67 represents the future. The wind farm promises to pump thousands of dollars into the county each year while farming continues on the land.
“Bringing in outside capital investment into a community,” said Jolene Willis, Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership. “Creating jobs and potential growth in the project as well.”
When the wind farm opens in early 2010, it should generate enough electricity to power 11,000 homes. The three turbine project could also supplement the McDonough Power Cooperative on site.
“The farmer benefits and makes money,” said Matt Cumberworth, Clean Enegy Concepts. “The county benefits and makes money. Everybody makes money, and it’s a natural resource here.”
Developers will install test equipment to find a spot for the turbines in coming days.
“Being able to produce our own electricity here and provide that green source for companies locally and internationally is tremendously exciting,” Willis said.
Board members must still sort out decommissioning details. That’s expected to happen next month.
Willis and other supporters believe the Warren County project can be a role model for other small scale wind projects in Illinois and across the country.
By John David
17 October 2007
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