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E-on receives turbine permits; Talks begin with Howard County

TIPTON – E-on Climate & Renewables has obtained 125 building permits in Madison and Tipton counties for the construction of wind turbines in the first phase of the Wildcat Wind Farm project.

Matt Tullis, a spokesman for E-on said the 69 permits in Tipton County and the 56 permits in Madison County are all part of the first phase of the development.

“We are looking at getting the turbine delivery the second week of July,” he said. “That’s when we’ll start work on the tower sections in Madison County.”

Tullis confirmed the company has started discussions with Howard County officials regarding economic development, a road use agreement and possible tax abatements for future phases of the Wildcat Wind Farm project.

“It all hinges on the federal tax credits for future phases,” Tullis said. “We would like to start as soon as possible.”

Commissioner Tyler Moore said discussions have started with E-on on expanding the Wildcat Wind Farm to the county.

“The road use agreement will be similar to the one signed in Tipton County,” he said. “Those documents are being reviewed.”

Moore said both Howard County and E-on are gathering information to discuss a potential tax abatement.

“E-on is confident the [federal] tax credits will be extended,” he said. “They are still interested in coming to Howard County. They want to move the project forward.”

Steve Edson, Tipton County Planning Director, said E-on paid $2,800 for each permit or a total of $193,200. He said those funds go to the county’s general fund.

Phase I will produce 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to provide electrical power to 60,000 homes. The company plans to invest up to $400 million for construction of Phase I.

Construction of the project is expected to employ between 200 and 300 workers and the company will create up to 12 permanent jobs for maintenance work on the turbines.

Phase 2 will be located in Grant and Howard counties and expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity. Phases 3 and 4 will be located between Greentown and Converse and in the Windfall area, generating up to 800 megawatts of electricity, which will be tapped into the grid at a power substation south of Greentown.