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Wind turbine project for Jay and Randolph counties may still be alive, EDC says

A major wind turbine project in southern Jay and northern Randolph counties that once appeared dead is very much alive, local officials said Tuesday.

Bill Bradley, executive director of Jay County Development Corp., told his board that the project is likely to move forward.

The project, which had been in the planning stages for several years by American Electric Power, hit a snag when AEP elected to purchase power from the developer of a proposed wind farm in central Indiana.

But a new company has stepped up to replace AEP, and Bradley said that meetings are being scheduled to reach lease agreements with property owners to locate the turbines.

Bradley said the project, which could be a total investment of $250 million, would include a total of 95 turbines – 70 of them in the southern townships of Jay County.

The handoff from AEP to the new company he declined to name has been “seamless,” said Bradley.

Jim Riggle, a representative from AEP who sits on the JCDC board, told fellow board members, “You have an experienced company (now) working on this project.”

Tentative plans call for construction to begin in the spring of 2013, with completion by late summer/fall – a timetable Bradley described as “aggressive.”

Despite the good news on the wind project, Bradley admitted that overall business activity in terms of projects and expansions have “slowed down a little bit.”