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Upgrades coming: Commissioners OK road use agreement for Wolf Ridge Wind

Upgrades to Wolf Ridge Wind Farm are coming, Cooke County Precinct 4 Commissioner Leon Klement says.

During a Cooke County Commissioners’ Court meeting Monday, July 27, Klement told county officials and others in attendance that the wind farm north of Muenster is going to put all new blades on its generators.

“And I think change some of gearing up, make them a little more efficient and modernize the blades, I think they wear out over a period of time,” Klement said.

He said the company hopes to start the project sometime in October and finish after the beginning of 2021.

A road use agreement between the county and Wolf Ridge Wind LLC was discussed since the county’s roads will be used during the upgrade process to haul equipment.

“It won’t be near as intense as new construction,” Klement said. “It’s just the blades, several large cranes and just the rest of the equipment to put it all back together.”

He said the main road used will be County Road 428, then north from Muenster on Farm-to-Market Road 373 to the wind farm’s lay-down yard.

Once the wind farm gets the equipment to its lay-down yard, the company will primarily be using interior roads for heavy hauling.

“They will have to cross county roads, but they’re not going to be hauling all their equipment back and forth down all these county roads,” Klement said.

He said the wind farm will survey all the roads before and after the project begins.

A $200,000 bond will be posted should there be severe damage to any of the county’s roadways, officials said.

“It’s a benefit to the county,” Klement said of what he called a standard road use agreement. “They have the right to use the roads, they’re public roads. They do this so they’re good neighbors, basically, and if something gets tore up or whatever they fix it.”

Klement said he will be the contact person and have weekly meetings with the wind farm officials while the project is underway.

Cooke County Commissioners unanimously approved the road use agreement. All members of the court were present at Monday’s meeting.

Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley said the approved agreement was similar to the one heavily vetted before members of the court in March when they voted on a road use agreement for Wildcat Creek Wind Farm LLC.

Wolf Ridge is a 112.5-megawatt wind generation plant that has 75 1.5-megawatt GE wind turbines that are capable of generating enough electricity to power about 34,000 homes, according to NextEra Energy Resources, Wolf Ridge Wind Farm’s parent company. The commercial operation began in 2008.