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Reinvestment zone for Potter County wind farm

Potter County has been asked to create a reinvestment zone that would allow a wind farm to come into the area.

“Of course we are very excited about the economic impact it will have on our economy,” said Potter County Commissioner Joe Kirkwood.

It is the High Majestic Wind II, and it will have 51 turbines capable of producing 79.6 megawatts of wind energy.

“A megawatt is enough to power about 350 average households,” said AJ Swope with Class4Winds.

So the majestic project could power more than 27,000 homes.

Right now, the Texas Panhandle gets its power in many ways – including from several wind farms, coal facilities and natural gas facilities.

“I’m not specifically getting wind power at my home and you’re not specifically getting coal at yours,” said Swope. “It’s a mix that we’re all using.”

Potter County officials are looking into a property tax abatement to make the project a reality.

“Basically what a tax abatement is, is an economic tool,” said Dave Kemp, the assistant Potter County attorney. “The county reaches an agreement with a business and it basically says, you come in and build new construction, whatever you build that’s new, ordinarily would be taxable, and for a period of time-it can’t be longer than ten years-we’ll give you a tax break.”

But several factors will go into Potter County’s decision.

“Based on the size, we’ll determine what the best tax abatement will be,” said Kirkwood. “It may not be the full amount they’re asking for. It will be based on the size and what their future plans will be.”

A decision will be made by the end of the month.