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Randall County wind farm project gets initial green light

The Randall County Commissioner’s Court on Tuesday took the first step to approve construction of the county’s second wind energy farm.

Commissioner Bob Robinson said Wednesday that the wind farm would be located near Bushland.

Robinson and Commissioner Buddy DeFord said the commissioners agreed to create a tax increment reinvestment zone for a wind farm, which would be built and operated by Northdraw Wind LLC.

“We voted to create a reinvestment zone and give them a tax abatement,” DeFord said.

A tax increment reinvestment zone is a political subdivision of a municipality or county in the state of Texas created to assess taxes and a tax abatement is a reduction of taxes granted by a government to encourage economic development.

The wind farm is expected to start construction in the second quarter of 2019, with 53 turbines, DeFord said.

Robinson said, “We are in negotiations now, but the entities have not agreed on an amount. We will first establish the reinvestment zone initially with 35 sections of land that may come in two or three phases.”

One section is about 640 acres.

Robinson said representatives from Northdraw Wind LLC were at the meeting, but neither Robinson nor DeFord could provide contact information for the company.

Robinson said there was no opposition at the meeting and that another company had built a wind farm in Randall County three or four years ago.

“We’re happy to have them (Northdraw) because there’s not much industry in Randall County,” he said. “Our whole tax base is $150,000 houses.”

Robinson said that although Randall County lags in industry, it enjoys one of the lowest property tax rates in the state.

In the 2020 U.S. Census, Robinson said he expects Randall County will exceed Potter County in population.

“We’re growing fast. The county is growing fast,” he said.

The wind project is expected to bring about $296,000 a year to the county’s finances, DeFord said.

Both commissioners said the wind energy farm will be discussed at future meetings, but couldn’t give specific dates at this time.

The next regular meeting of the Randall County Commissioner’s Court is at 9 a.m. on Nov. 13, at 501 16th St., Suite 305, Canyon.