Construction crews have broken ground at the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm in northeastern Douglas County. The wind farm will consist of 48 wind turbines totaling 200 megawatts of capacity. Once operational, the wind farm will provide enough clean energy to power approximately 70,000 homes.
The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm is owned by EDP Renewables North America, one of the largest owners and operators of wind farms in Illinois. EDP Renewables has hired The Boldt Company as the general contractor to lead the construction of the wind farm.
“We are so pleased to break ground at the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm,” stated Colin Meskell, Construction Project Manager for EDP Renewables. “We really appreciate the generosity we’ve already experienced from landowners and other community members and are looking forward to being good community partners throughout the construction process.”
The initial construction work is focused on improving the local public roads that will be used during the construction of the wind farm. Existing dirt roads are being upgraded to gravel, and other roads are being strengthened to withstand the increased traffic expected during the construction process.
“We look forward to putting the local workforce to work,” stated Tony Densmore, Senior Project Manager with The Boldt Company. “We’ve started pulling from the local union halls and expect to continue to ramp up our workforce in the coming weeks.”
Later this summer, construction crews will start pouring foundations for the turbines, building access roads to the turbine sites and trenching the underground electrical lines which connect each of the turbines. The wind turbines will start to be erected in the fall and are expected to produce electricity by the end of the year. The construction process will continue into next spring and summer with restoration activities in order to return farmland and roads to the same or better condition.
“Having worked on the construction site of other wind farms, I can tell you how much activity these projects bring to the local communities,” stated Terry Payton who runs a local business out of the town of Newman. “My catering business has already picked up, and I look forward to continuing to serve the crews throughout the construction process.”
The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm will require approximately 250 jobs during construction and 8-10 permanent jobs to operate and maintain the wind farm. Once constructed, the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm will provide more than $50 million in tax revenues to Douglas County and taxing entities in the
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.
EDP Renewables has launched a website to help share information about temporary road closures and other construction updates with the public: https://updates.harvestridgewindfarm.com/. The company can also be reached by calling 1-800-970-6841 or emailing email@example.com.