SUNBURY – Even though Penn Wind CEO Justin Dunkelberger informed the Northumberland County commissioners weeks ago that his company wouldn’t be pursuing a $30 million wind turbine project, the county is giving him another 60 days to pay a $50,000 land lease payment.
Penn Wind signed a 29-year lease with the county in 2010 for 75 acres in Coal and Cameron townships to build three wind turbines and pay the county 6 percent of the profits from electricity generated.
The agreement also required Penn Wind to pay the county $50,000, due April 20. When the date passed without a payment, the county sent a letter informing Penn Wind that it had 60 days to pay up or the contract would be nullified.
In early April, Dunkelberger introduced the board to a representative of EverPower, a company that employs 42 in Pennsylvania and has two wind projects in Cambria County and two more under development in Somerset County, and offered to keep the project on track.
Kevin Sheen, senior director of development with EverPower, offered to lease the property from the county for about $2,000 a year with plans to develop a 40-megawatt, 15 to 20 turbine wind farm on the property within the next year or two, if federal tax credits supporting the industry are extended.
He also offered to pay the county 6 percent of the gross profits.
Board Chairman Rick Shoch said he’s not sure whether the county will accept Everpower’s terms.
Though he’s not confident federal tax credits will be available, Shoch said the offer of $2,000 for the land is more than the county’s receiving now and no other offers are on the table.
Commissioners Vinny Clausi and Stephen Bridy aren’t very enthusiastic and said they’d like to consider other offers.
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