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Douglas County Board approves wind farm permit

The Douglas County Board during its meeting Wednesday, June 19, voted to approve the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm’s permit application. The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm is a 200 megawatt project that will consist of 48 wind turbines in northeastern Douglas County. Once operational, the wind farm will provide enough clean energy to power approximately 70,000 homes. 

The board approved the application with a vote of 5-1-1 as Bibby Appleby voted against the measure and Tom Glenn abstained as a pending participant of the wind farm.

“We’ve worked and worked and worked on this. We’ve done our due diligence and we’ve arrived at our decision, which is long overdue. I look forward to seeing the incredible benefits this wind farm will bring to our County,” stated Tom Hettinger, County Board member and Chairman of the Plat and Planning Subcommittee.

Once constructed, the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm will provide more than $50 million in tax revenues to Douglas County and taxing entities in the wind farm project area, including the schools, townships, roads, fire districts, libraries and other vital public services over the first 30 years of the wind farm’s operations. The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm is under development by EDP Renewables, one of the largest owners and operators of wind farms in Illinois.

“This was one of the most rigorous permitting processes we’ve experienced,” stated Chris Brooks, Director of Project Management for EDP Renewables. “We are so pleased to have met the requirements of Douglas County, and we look forward to being a good, long-term community partner over the life of the project.”

Construction crews are already mobilizing to the area and work on the public roads is expected to start within the next couple of weeks. Building the project will require approximately 250 jobs during construction and 8-10 permanent jobs to operate and maintain the wind farm.

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