A second reinvestment zone was approved Monday for Ector County by commissioners in what County Judge Susan Redford said is a move into the “realm of cleaner energy.”
David Groberg, vice president of business development for Invenergy LLC, told commissioners the company has leased more than 20,000 acres from landowners near Notrees on which the company plans to develop a wind farm with 200 wind turbines.
Groberg, of Rockville, Md., said Invenergy, headquartered in Chicago, will develop the wind farm on Sonny Henderson’s ranch, the V-Bar Ranch and land owned by the Texas Pacific Railroad Land Trust. He said all the land is totally within Ector County.
“There are a few spots in the county that get strong wind,” Groberg said.
Questioned by Redford and the commissioners, during a public comment period in which he made a presentation on the project, Groberg said the company would use a general contractor that has experience building wind farms but plans to use local companies to build the 300 megawatt wind farm. He said the company would use General Electric 1-1/2 megawatt turbines.
Grobery went on to say local contractors would be used for excavation, dirt work and cement on the project.
“We’ll be investing about $400 million in the county,” Groberg said.
He said construction could begin before the end of the second quarter of 2008 with a scheduled completion date in 2009.
The motion to approve the reinvestment zone was only opposed by Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Simmons who explained that he’s not opposed to the project but rather to the fact that commissioners don’t even know at this early stage how large a tax abatement the company would be seeking.
However, Redford said, “I think we’ll see more of these projects coming into Ector County as we move into the realm of cleaner energy.”
Also Monday, commissioners approved:
>> A request by County Extension Agent Crystal Henderson to eliminate facility charges regarding the Ector County Livestock Show.
>> Tabling building plans for the proposed Westside Senior Center. The cost estimate for the facility was $132,000, even using county labor. Only $80,000 was budgeted for the project.
>> Official bonds for District Attorney Bobby Bland and Elections Administrator Mitzi Scheible.
>> Bid specifications for patrol vehicle video systems.
>> Renewing a contract with SirsiDynix for IBISTRO datastream subscription for the county library.
>> Authorizing a joint primary election to be held on March 4 and heard a report on an election contract with the City of Odessa, ECISD, Odessa College and the hospital district.
>> A vendor contract for fiscal year 2008 with the Permian Basin Area Agency on Aging for continuation of meal delivery to senior centers.
>> A Public Health Preparedness Grant contract.
>> Advertising for vacant nursing positions for the county health department.
>> The accounts payable report and financial statements.
BY THE NUMBERS
>> 200: Number of GE turbines.
>> 1.5 megawatt: Power of the GE turbines.
>> $400 million: Investment in Ector County.
>> 2008: End of second quarter, construction starts.
>> 2009: Completion date for the wind farm.
By Bill Modisett
17 December 2007
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