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Third wind farm proposed for county

DANVILLE – Vermilion County’s third wind farm recently kicked off its development phase, which includes land acquisition.

A press release from Tri Global Energy states this would be the region’s largest wind project.

A 255-megawatt, 15,000-acre wind project, Vermilion Wind, projected to be the largest in East Central Illinois, has commenced its development phase in Vermilion County with several key milestones in place, according to the press release.

The wind development project is spearheaded by national renewable energy leader, Tri Global Energy, which develops and owns wind, solar and energy storage projects in Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Nebraska and Virginia.

Tri Global Energy (TGE) has long been the largest developer of wind power in Texas, the state which leads the U.S. in production of wind energy. However, Illinois ranks sixth in the country for wind power production, and TGE’s founder and chairman, John Billingsley, feels the state is poised to reap even more benefits through harnessing its assets for the development of wind energy, the press release states.

“We have been able to form beneficial relationships with more than 3,500 participating landowners and community investors in Texas,” Billingsley said. “We’ve found the same great land resources and entrepreneurial spirit here in Vermilion County, and this project will pay benefits locally for decades to come.”

The Vermilion Wind project is located just south of the Little Vermilion River, between Georgetown and Ridge Farm. Wind, utility interconnection and preliminary environmental studies are under way. Development efforts are expected to continue over the next two to three years.

The TGE Vermilion County wind project is led by project manager, Pete Boever, who is onsite and meeting with land and homeowners.

“Land acquisition will continue through 2020, even though a majority of leases will be signed by mid-October 2020,” Boever said.

“Transmission easements and good neighbor agreements will follow the initial lease-signing efforts. We look forward to working with the Vermilion community to cooperatively develop this project with them and to generating meaningful economic opportunity for project participants and the surrounding region.”

Boever and his team estimate that during the next 25 years, Vermilion Wind will generate approximately $55 million in landowner payments along with an estimated $47 million in tax revenues for local schools, roads and more. During the estimated six-to-nine-month construction phase, about 150 full-time jobs will be created.

Vermilion County Board Chairman Larry Baughn said, “They have not done anything formal with us,” referring to the required permitting process.

The county’s other two wind farms are outside Rossville and on Route 49.

Tri Global Energy is an independent renewable energy originator and developer in the U.S. The company is a leading wind developer in Texas and among the top five in the U.S. for projects under construction. More than 4,000 megawatts of TGE’s renewable energy projects are either in late stage development, financing, construction or operation, including wind, solar and energy storage projects.

Founded in 2009, Tri Global Energy’s mission is to improve communities through local economic development generated by originating and commercializing renewable energy projects.

Tri Global Energy is headquartered in Dallas with regional development offices in Lubbock, Texas; El Paso and Forreston, Ill.; and Reynolds and Hartford City, Ind. For more information, visit www.triglobalenergy.com.