MCLEAN COUNTY – A Virginia energy company said it is planning to pursue a 300-megawatt wind farm project in southern McLean County.
Apex Clean Energy said the project, called Diamond Grove Wind, is in the early stages of development. Public engagement manager Max Jabrixio told The Pantagraph that the project would take up about 30,000 acres of farmland between LeRoy and Heyworth.
He said the company is talking with roughly 100 homeowners in the area.
“There is so much active wind in the county already and our conversation with the homeowners has been overwhelmingly positive because they already know how useful wind energy has been there,” Jabrixio said.
The timeline for the project has not yet been finalized, Jabrixio said, but Apex anticipates that construction could start in early 2024 and be completed by the end of that year.
“We are still a ways away from the formal parts of the process like submitting an application to the county board,” he said.
The project would have a 30-year lifetime, the company said, and could generate enough power for 100,000 U.S. homes. Jabrixio noted that the company will pursue two other projects in Central Illinois.
“We’ve begun early conversations with landowners and farmers regarding their interest in the project and have received a very positive response,” Senior Development Manager Alan Moore said in a statement. “Many residents are already familiar with the benefits of wind energy given McLean’s role as a leader in bringing projects like this to the region.”
The company said the Diamond Grove project would create hundreds of jobs during construction, with a local operations and maintenance team staying long-term to provide everyday oversight.
The company last week announced plans for a similar project in Coles County.
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