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Proposed wind farm includes parts of Piedmont

A major wind farm could be coming to the area and part of the $500 million project will be located in Piedmont, according to a proposal from a national wind energy company.

Representatives from Virginia-based Apex Wind Energy will make a brief presentation to the Piedmont planning commission during Monday’s meeting but the company has already secured leases with a majority of landowners. Most of the proposed wind farm will be located in Kingfisher County, but as many as 15 to 20 windmills are planned for inside the Piedmont city limits.

“It’s a really large project,” Apex Development Manager Kent Dougherty said. “The plan is to start putting (the wind turbines) up in April 2013.”

The total project could include as many as 150 windmills and Apex has already leased 23,000 acres, according to Dougherty. The entire project is estimated to provide 300 megawatts and will be sold to four utility companies in Oklahoma.

Wind turbines built in the city limits could bring income to the city but Dougherty was not sure on the specifics. It is possible the wind turbines could generate sales tax for the city through point of delivery on turbine parts and with each turbine costing as much as $3 million to build, it could bring an economic boost to Piedmont. Wind farms can also improve property values, which would benefit the Piedmont school district.

Representatives from Apex have already met with some city officials and Dougherty hopes Monday’s presentation can be the start of a good relationship with the city.

“Would like to work with (Piedmont) on developing a wind energy ordinance,” Dougherty said. “Something that allows for reasonable and responsible wind energy development.”

Continue to check with PiedmontDaily.com and the next issue of the Piedmont Citizen for more updates to this story.