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Some on Woodford Co. Board want answers to wind farm questions

EUREKA – Before Doug Huser will vote in favor of transferring part ownership of Minonk Wind Farm LLC from Gamesa to Algonquin, he wants some long-sought answers to questions he has about the legalities of the matter.

And three members of the conservation, zoning and planning committee agree, saying they need the facts to make a good decision.

“In the grand scheme of things, the wind farm is going get transferred,” said member Duane Kingdon said. “It needs to be operating. But there comes a time after asking and virtually begging for answers to our questions that we’re at the wall. …”

Member Tom Evans agreed. Members Shannon Rocke and Don Cremeens did not.

A motion failed to move the question to the full board, but it may show up on the Sept. 18 agenda anyway. Gamesa and Algonquin have asked for a vote Sept. 18, saying the matter has time constraints because of energy credit deadlines.

Work on the wind farm is mostly on schedule, and nearly all the 100 turbines have been put up.

State’s Attorney Greg Minger said the wind farm transfer is legal and should proceed.

“This (special-use permit) is a contract,” Minger said. “We allowed them to build…They relied on that. (Not making the transfer) is not what they bargained for. The government allowed them to do something and you’re taking that away … I’m fearful that it’s going to cost the county a lot… Without a doubt we would lose in court.”

Gamesa is proposing the transfer of part ownership of the wind farm to Algonquin, a Canadian-based power company.