By Kayleigh Rahn
The landscape in the northeast corner of Douglas County could look quite different in the coming year.
EDP Renewables, a leading renewable energy company headquartered in Madrid, is hoping to build a 200-megawatt, 60-turbine wind farm north of Newman in Douglas County. The company has worked for the last few years to pull the project off the ground, but has received resistance from residents in recent months.
Amy Kurt, Project Manager for EDP Renewables North America, says the proposed wind farm has the potential to power up to 69,000 homes from 50-60 turbines that stand between 480-615 feet tall throughout a 10,000-acre area.
“Of the 10,000 acres, the vast majority will continue to be used as it is right now with traditional agriculture,” Kurt said. Less than 1 percent of the acreage, or 80 acres, will be used for the footprint of the turbine infrastructure and the access roads to the turbine sites. Farmers will be able to use those roads for field access as well.
Developers have worked on and off in the Broadlands area for about a decade, Kurt said. The development work began in 2008, but the company halted work at the Douglas County site with the downturn of the economy. As the economy began to turn around and the wind turbine technology advanced, the company picked up the project again in 2016.
“We’ve worked hard the past few years to finish the process to move construction forward,” Kurt said. If the project application is approved by the county, construction could begin in early 2019 and the delivery of power could begin by the end of 2019.
The landowners who are directly affected by the turbines stand to see a profit from leasing the land for the wind farm, Kurt said.
“We like to call it a drought-resistant cash crop,” said Blair Matocha, communications specialist for EDP Renewables.
Other profits would be realized by Douglas County, which could see more than $300,000 in the first year in taxing revenue from the proposed infrastructure at the current assessed valuation.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, June 13 edition of The Tuscola Journal.