Howard County Commissioners on Monday revised and approved reinvestment zone agreements for five companies who want to build wind turbines in the area, County Judge Mark Barr said.
The zones are in the southern part of the county along U.S. Highway 87 between Big Spring and Forsan, the northeastern part of the county extending from Big Spring along Texas Highway 350 up into northeastern part of county, and the north-central part of the county east of Highway 87 in the Vealmore/Ackerly area.
Companies that want to install the wind turbines are Iberdrola, Airtricity, Invenergy, Padoma and Duke. All but Iberdrola are ready to move in the first part of 2008, Barr said.
Iberdrola may not be able to start construction until the last quarter of 2008 or possibly the first quarter of 2009, he said.
The abatements, although still unofficial, will run for 10 years and the companies will pay the county approximately $500,000 per year in lieu of taxes, Barr said.
Moore Development for Big Spring Executive Director Terry Wegman said at least 200 turbines are expected to be constructed. The turbines are described in terms of megawatts and the number of windmills depends how much electricity they produce.
“These companies have good track records and have projects in various parts of the area and throughout the United States,” Wegman said.
He noted the projects will be good for county business. Construction will likely create 100 or more jobs and the larger ventures will produce five to 10 positions.
“There will be a lot of crews here during the construction phase, so that will import a lot of workers to the area. They’ll need places to stay and eat. They’ll be spending money within the city for whatever supplies they may need. That’s the immediate effect, plus there will be permanent jobs created for ongoing maintenance … of all the turbines,” Wegman said.
By Ruth Campbell
27 November 2007
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