Wind farm projects continue around Ford County.
Last year Ford County approved the construction of two wind farms.
The Bloom Wind Farm, located near Minneola, is near completion, and the Western Plains Wind Farm, located near Spearville, is complete. Both wind farm projects began in the summer of 2016.
The completion of the Western Plains Wind Farm allows for economic development in Ford County through lease royalties paid to local landowners and payments to local and county government, expected to be roughly $75 million during the first 20 years of operation.
Additionally, this project creates more than 200 construction jobs, followed by about three dozen permanent jobs, and involving $435 million capital investment.
All that remains of this project is repairs to the road running along it.
“The main thing now is to focus on getting the patching done and the main repairs to the pavement,” county engineer Jon Halbgewachs noted at a county commission meeting. “Then the county would apply the seal next year.”
The Bloom Wind Farm sits on 15,000 acres of privately-owned land and runs from 117 road south all the way to the Ford/Clark County line. Upon completion, this wind farm will have 42 turbines 300 feet a apart with blade sweeps of 492 feet.
Though this project is well on its way to completion, the construction process caused excessive damage to Yucca Road, a road that sits along the wind farm near Minneola.
“The wind farm kind of hit a road block I guess you could say with their contractor on coming up with a proposal, so they’ve asked us to do it,” said Halbgewachs at a county meeting. “We’ve done some notations of the damage done there. They’ve asked us to generate a proposal to have those repaired in short term to make it a little more pleasing for the driver now, as well as a proposal for what we would like to see as a long term fix for the future of the county.”
Halbgewachs stated that part of the repairs would not occur until after the wind farm construction is complete, just in case there’s any further damage.
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