A second wind-energy company is in the race to build Ford County’s first turbines east of Paxton, adding to the community’s excitement about economic growth.
“They’re bringing people to work here, and some may even want to come and live in Paxton,” Mayor Bill Ingold said.
Joe Borkowski, development manager for E.On Climate & Renewables, a division of an international company with offices in Chicago, met Friday with landowners from Button Township targeted for the construction of 70 to 100 wind turbines.
The night before, Matt Kauffman, president of Stewardship Energy LLC, a company based in Bureau County, conducted an informational meeting about his company’s plans to build 50 to perhaps 80 wind turbines along a 5-mile stretch of Illinois 9 starting at least 1 mile east of Paxton. Kauffman said Friday afternoon he is aware of the second project and anticipates “a bit of an overlap” in the layout between the projects.
Kauffman said he thinks both projects would also involve feeding energy into the same AmerenCIPS-owned electric line that enters a substation in Paxton. He said the 265-foot-tall turbines his company wants to construct would have a nameplate capacity of 2 megawatts each.
Borkowski said his company wants to construct a 150-megawatt wind farm featuring 70 to 100 wind turbines in Button Township. Construction likely would begin in the fall of 2010 and be done within a year.
Borkowski said he has also been in talks about the project with the Ford County Economic Development Foundation and Ingold for more than a year.
Kauffman, who distributed preliminary “cooperation agreements” with a group of more than 50 landowners Thursday, said he plans to meet soon with the mayor and city officials, along with officials in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District and members of the Ford County Board to get input.
By Will Brumleve
6 April 2008
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