Large wind turbines like those that have sprung up around the country could also appear in Limestone County at some point.
Several landowners in Coolidge have leased land to a company that is putting together a package to provide locations for wind turbines. The landowners say they are not yet at liberty to name the company involved, but the land has been leased, the wind speed tested, and the plan is being developed.
Bill Ward is one of at least four landowners who were approached by the unnamed company about the project.
He said that several years ago a different company approached him for a similar project that ultimately fell through.
“Then we had some people come to us last year to look at it,” he said. “I contacted another project, and that’s who we ended up leasing to.”
Ward is cautiously optimistic that this project will go through, citing the fact that a different set of investors is involved than the earlier, unsuccessful project.
“It’s a group that puts it together, and they turn around and sell it,” he said.
Ward sees this potential development as a way for the northern end of Limestone County to benefit from energy production in ways only the southern part of the county has so far.
“The upper part of Limestone County didn’t have any oil and gas production,” he said. “I’m excited that the northern part of Limestone County could get into wind production and have some revenue off of it to the landowners.”
Coolidge resident, Dr. Bill Lowry also expressed pleasure at the possibility of seeing a wind turbine go up on his land.
“I think it’s great; I wouldn’t care if they put several on me,” he said.
Lowry said the company leased his land in November and that a company representative told him the turbine only needs winds 5-9 mph in strength to turn the blades.
“Well, we pretty much have that around here,” Lowry said.
“My understanding is they are trying to make arrangements for a service line, where they can deliver the electricity,” he said. “They’ve got to have a pretty good size line that they can run the power from these turbines to. My understanding is that’s what they’re working on now. I don’t know if they’ve leased anybody else’s land, but they told us when they got that worked out they would get back to us.”
Ward cautioned against assuming the project would actually materialize.
“I don’t know that they’re for sure going to do anything,” he said. “Until you see one go up, I don’t think we’re for sure of anything.”
According to the American Wind Energy Association, the United States is world’s largest creator of wind energy, producing more than 190 million megawatt-hours in 2015, or enough to power 17.5 million U.S. homes.
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