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Wind project is looking to expand its reach  

Credit:  Kathleen Clark | Journal-Courier | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | www.myjournalcourier.com ~~

SCOTTVILLE – Apex Clean Energy, the company orchestrating the Lincoln Land Wind Project in eastern Morgan County, is looking at areas near Modesto, Scottville and Virden in Macoupin County for another wind farm project.

Landowners in those areas recently received notice about an open house in February that will introduce plans for a 200 megawatt wind development plan called the Lotus Wind Project. The project calls for up to 80 turbines along the northern Macoupin County line.

Max Jabrixio, a representative for the Lotus Wind Project, said the company recently opened an office in Virden and area landowners confirmed Lotus Wind representatives have contacted them about the project over the past few months. Jabrixio provided some initial information on the project and says staff have began meeting with area Chamber of Commerce and county board members.

The anticipated date of commercial operation for the 200 megawatts capacity project is 2023.

Apex has identified sites in Macoupin County for the Lotus Wing Project that have the key attributes of a verified wind resource, the presence of expansive private land and a close proximity to existing transmission lines.

The company promotes that, “Lotus Wind will create jobs and generate an entirely new source of long-term revenue for local schools, government services and property owners.” The total direct financial impact to the region is believed to be tens of millions of dollars over the life of the project. Specifically, “… The project will generate roughly $49 million in new property tax revenues in its first 30 years … (and) will generate an estimated 272 new direct and indirect short-term jobs during construction and 22 new direct and indirect long-term jobs for the life of the project in Macoupin County.” Landowners participating in the project also will receive compensation to include annual royalty payments.

Jabrixio said he and Lotus Wind staff are excited to learn about the Macoupin County communities and, “We plan to start a Community Grant Program aimed at local nonprofits to support work they’re doing in the area. We have a similar program in Morgan County for our Lincoln Land project that was very well received.” When the program officially launches, there will be a website with additional details.

According to literature from Lotus Wind, they believe about $31 million of the property tax revenues would go to schools in the project area.

Last year, state legislators approved letting counties soley regulate wind projects and related infrastructure. Morgan County officials updated their county’s ordinance with a number of regulations, including an approval process for a siting permit, construction requirements and a decommissioning plan. At this time, Macoupin County does not have any ordinances or resolutions regulating wind projects. Macoupin County Board members report Lotus Wind staff are slated to attend the county’s next Economic Development Committee meeting on Thursday and the regularly scheduled County Board Meeting.

Apex Clean Energy is a U.S.-based renewable energy developer headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, with just more than 200 employees across the country.

Source:  Kathleen Clark | Journal-Courier | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | www.myjournalcourier.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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