Cerro Gordo County is inching closer to seeing its first major wind farm since the late 1990s as E.ON Climate and Renewables eyes a project in the Rockwell area.
The international private energy company based out of Germany currently has 23 development projects in the U.S. and has constructed more than 3,600 megawatts of renewable capacity in the United States since 2007, according to the company website.
Those sites are scattered throughout the Midwest and South, but mostly in Texas, and split between solar and wind energy.
While E.ON Climate and Renewables is still waiting to sign an interconnection agreement, which will happen in 2021 at the earliest, it already has leases in place with landowners in and around the Rockwell area in the southeastern portion of Cerro Gordo County.
E.ON Project Manager Josh Odom gave an update on the project to Cerro Gordo County board supervisors Casey Callanan, Tim Latham and Christ Watts earlier this week.
Odom said that development began in 2015 and that, in the time since, the company has gotten environmental and impact studies done while constantly collecting wind data; an assertion verified by Watts.
“Renewable energy is a good thing to check into and take advantage of if you can,” Watts said.
Watts, who has taken the lead on the project from the board’s side, points out that no major wind farm project has been undertaken in Cerro Gordo County since a wind farm was put up in Ventura in the late-90s.
Though the E.ON wind farm project is on a distinct timeline from the SOO Green Renewable Rail project – which would carry renewable wind and solar energy along a rail for 349 miles from the Mason City area to the Chicago area – Odom did acknowledge that the two projects could work together down the line.
At present time, the SOO Line is scheduled for a 2024 launch.
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