LINCOLN — An 81-turbine wind farm will be developed near Mount Pulaski after the project received approval from the Logan County Board.
The Meridien project will be built by Relight U.S. Corp., a Delaware-based company. The board tied 6-6 on the application in February.
On Tuesday night, following changes submitted by the owners, the board voted 8-4 for approval of the $400 million project.
“We worked to increase setbacks, reduce potential noise levels, create a decommissioning plan and provide more financial donations to the community,” said Wayne Woo, a partner and co-owner of Relight U.S. Corp.
The project is expected to be completed in December 2016. It would yield the county about $2.44 million in property taxes during the first year of operation and more than $61 million over a 25-year period, he said.
The project has been in the planning stages since 2007, and will place turbines ranging from 430 to 492 feet in an area stretching from Broadwell to Elkhart, and near Mount Pulaski.
Opponents cited potential health issues among reasons to oppose the project.
Mount Pulaski Mayor Jim Fuhrer doesn’t think the turbines are harmful to residents.
“I hear a lot of ‘what-ifs’ about wind power, but I believe that it is safe,” he said.
Robert Paladino, vice president of Relight U.S., said the project will not have an impact on property values or health.
“Our goal and our purpose is to come to a county that was welcoming us, that wanted us here, and wanted us to invest our money,” he said. “We have done that. We have spent millions of dollars developing this project.”
County Board member Jan Schumacher said she hopes residents will put their differences aside.
“I would encourage everyone on both sides to really put the differences behind and to move forward and not let this have a long time of festering, because that would be a negative for the entire community,” she said.
Last week, a proposed wind farm project in Livingston County was rejected by that county board.
Retrieved from: The Pantagraph