MONMOUTH – A massive project to bring wind power to West Central Illinois may be in the works.
Capital Power sent Senior Manager of Business Development Matthew Martin to the Warren County Board meeting Wednesday morning to discuss the possibility of having at least 20 turbines in Warren County, specifically in Point Pleasant Township.
Capital Power, based in Edmonton, Canada, had a permit to construct in McDonough County in 2011 but Martin said the company “didn’t have someone to buy the power,” and the permit expired. In 2016, they obtained another permit in the county, which will expire in 2019. The “Cardinal Point Project” proposes two sites in McDonough’s Sciota Township, two in Point Pleasant, and one on the border between the two. If all goes as planned, there will be a total of 60 turbines, 2.5 megawatts each. The towers would be 290 feet tall, with each carrying three 204-foot-long blades. According to Martin, the wind farm will cover about 19,000 acres involving 100 property owners and cost at least $230 million.
Currently, Capital Power has 24 operating facilities across the U.S. and Canada, including seven wind farms. If the wind farms were to stop being used after their construction, Capital has agreed to assume the cost of dismantling the turbines. The underground wiring, however, would remain. The project, if approved, would create eight to 10 permanent jobs, with $600,000 per year going to Warren County through property taxes on the wind farm.
Next, Capital Power will complete a Warren County zoning application, sign a road use agreement, undergo consultation from various state agencies, and then go before various county boards for approval. Martin said he hopes to have a motion in front of the County Board by its next meeting, which will occur in September. If the project is approved, turbines would be completed the following September, with commercial operation beginning in March 2020.
In other business, Macomb attorney Justin Bougher was approved as public defender to replace Tom Siegel. Bougher will be paid $7,000 per month and will begin July 1, leaving no gap between when Siegel departs the position and when Bougher commences his contract. The contract will be valid only until Nov. 30, after which it will be up for renewal. Notably, there are no restrictions on the number of cases Bougher will be appointed. Cases involving sexual danger or sexual violence, however, will require a separate contract.
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