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Jasper County Commission irons out more details on plans for wind farm

Plans to build a wind farm in Southwest Missouri are changing, which means the footprint for the wind farm is now final – with some sites moving from earlier plans.

“November 1st, we will get started with North Fork Ridge,” explained Jasper County Commissioner John Bartosh.

It’s the first phase of wind farm construction. The wind turbines will generally locate in the southwest region of Barton County.

Jasper County will see some heavy traffic for access roads.

John Bartosh, Jasper Co. Comm.: “There’s just going to be a substation,” Bartosh added. “Now when we get to the other one, there will be wind mills in Jasper County.”

That’s in the second phase called ‘Kingspoint.’

Workers say there will be 33 wind turbines in Jasper County. Those details are still being finalized, so for now the focus is on the North Fork Ridge project and the impact to the area.

“You can’t sugarcoat that we’re going to tear things up… infrastructre, we’ll be forthright about that,” said Monte Ten Kley with Tenaska Energy Company.

Heavy equipment routes are highlighted in the plans as well as the commitment to repair any damage caused along those routes.

“From what I’ve heard from other counties and other states, they tear up the roads but they put them back better than they were before,” Bartosh explained.

Both North Fork Ridge and Kingspoint are part of a billion-dollar wind farm project by Liberty Utilities totalling 600 megawatts of electricity production.

That’s construction in Jasper, Barton, Lawrence and Dade Counties in Missouri and Neosho County, Kansas.