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Apex decides against LaGrange Co. wind farm

A proposal to build a large wind-farm operation in the southwest corner of LaGrange County is dead, The News Sun reported.

Rob Propes, development manager for Apex Clean Energy Inc., said in an email sent to Bob Shanahan, LaGrange County planning administrator, Apex had decided not to pursue the Clear Spring Wind Energy project in LaGrange County due to “a lack of landowner participation.”

Apex Clean Energy is a U.S.-based developer of commercial-scale, renewable-energy facilities in North America such as wind farms. The company is headquartered in Charlottesville, Va.

Propes said in his letter that while many people in the area were supportive of wind energy, the expected growth rate of smaller farms in the area made many landowners hesitant to commit to the 20- to 25-year leases needed to make the project feasible.

A preliminary plan called for installing as many as 100 wind turbines in the area, Shanahan said. That portion of the county was selected after testing revealed the winds were sufficient to produce energy. A major electrical transmission line also runs through the area.

Shanahan said it was “a real shame” the energy company killed the proposal.

Propes concluded his letter to Shanahan by saying that he was “sorry that we were not able to fully develop a project that would have provided many landowners with supplemental income and generated property taxes for the county.”

The News Sun is published by Business Weekly owner KPC Media Group.