About 70 wind towers will soon be constructed here, an investment of about $300 million, a wind manager for one of the companies that plans to build a wind farm in Ector County said.
Mannti Cummins, of American Shoreline Inc. in Corpus Christi, said the company has filed an application fee with trustees of Ector County Independent School District for a wind farm on the J.B. Whatley Ranch in Ector and Andrews counties.
Cummins said the company plans to begin construction of the wind towers in 2008 and be operating by 2009.
Cummins said the company has been conducting testing wind velocity and has been very pleased with the results.
Another company, Invenergy LLC in Chicago, has leased land on Sonny Henderson’s ranch south and east of Notrees and plans to develop a wind farm there, Henderson said.
Meanwhile, County Judge Susan Redford said she’s been contacted by two other wind farm companies that also have plans to develop wind farms near Odessa.
“There’s a lot more interest in wind energy here than I was aware of,” Redford said.
At Monday’s meeting of the Ector County Commissioners, guidelines were approved for appraised value limitations which the county will use in working with wind generation companies.
Redford told commissioners the county had been using guidelines essentially used for tax abatements up until now, but the Texas Legislature had passed legislation for appraised value limitations to be used with wind farms.
The proposal commissioners approved Monday utilized guidelines from the City of Odessa, Pecos County and the Texas Attorney General’s office, Redford said.
In a brief discussion about the guidelines, Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Simmons said tax abatements shouldn’t necessarily be used for every wind farm coming to Ector County.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Barbara Graff noted that some research she’s done indicated that while some counties give 10-year tax abatements for such businesses, others give three-year abatements.
Redford said each case should be decided individually.
By Bill Modisett
23 October 2007
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