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Local interest shown in wind project

In 2016, Rush County may start seeing some unusual objects being built in fields throughout the county.

A meeting held a couple weeks ago determined that citizens are taking interest in the wind project coming to the county.

“I was pleased that we had a full house for this meeting,” John McCane, ED of Rush County ECDC, said. “It shows that people are interested and engaged in these projects.”

According to NextEra Energy Resources Project Manager Jeremy Ferrell, a wind farm is planned for Rush County, western and northern Fayette County and a small portion in southern Henry County.

So, what does it take to home a wind farm?

Ferrell explained that a key component to a wind farm is a site where there is strong, consistent wind. Another major component is finding willing landowners and having a supportive community.

“I am not going to say that everyone in this room is happy about the project, but I will do my best to address the concerns,” Ferrell said. “Several landowners have signed up. Meetings like this provide information we hope will gain the support of the community.”

McCane agreed. “These projects constitute huge investment into our community.”

Although the project will bring positive outcome, there are a few issues that must be resolved.

One issue being the project must have a low impact on wildlife and another issue to be solved is finding a purchaser of the electricity.

The projected investment in all three counties is $250 million with 25 turbines in Rush County, 43 in Fayette County and nine in Henry County. Those turbines would produce up to 150 megawatts which is enough electricity for approximately 40,000 homes overall.

“We are the largest wind energy company in the U.S.,” Ferrell said. “We are in this for the long haul.”

NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with its affiliated entities, “NextEra Energy Resources”), is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 18,300 megawatts of generating capacity primarily in 24 states and Canada as of year-end 2013. NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun.