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Tenaska Reps Update Kiwanis on Wind Farm Progress

It’s been about 15 months since we first learned about a possible wind farm being brought to Hamilton and White Counties.   We talked in February of 2023 to a representative of Tenaska as well as White County Farm Bureau Manager Doug Anderson and a leading local energy attorney, Matthew McArthy who expressed concerns.  Erik Larson, along with colleagues DJ Parks and Jim Cummings visited Kiwanis on Thursday with an update on development.  So far, Larson says the group has had success engaging landowners and the communities on the development.

We have right now got about 9,000 acres in both counties under lease that we are working through the first year and a half of that 7 year option period in the development phase of the project.  We’ve had very good success with all the landowners here.

As far as what brought Tenaska and their partner Cordelio to the area, Larson points to upgraded transmission lines that offer the capacity to feed more electricity.

The available transmission lines down here across the bottoms headed out toward Enfield.  There’s that transmission line that’s been upgraded with that solar install and so there’s available capacity on that line.  To install transmission lines is a very expensive proposition.  That was one of the main reasons.  And there’s a large transmission line basically coming out of Walpole from the coal mine over there feeding into that substation there on the east side of Enfield.

Geographically speaking, Larson explains where Tenaska and Cordelio are looking at land.

A majority of our acreage thus far is from Walpole to Broughton to Dale, kinda that triangle in Hamilton County.  And then, from the old coal pit on the eastern side of McLeansboro northeast over into White County north of Enfield and east of Enfield and yes we are still looking at acreage.  Basically from Springerton to Enfield to McLeansboro is kinda what may be one project and then the second project being from Walpole to Broughton, it may be that they’re combined.

The turbines in question would be harnessing wind from 500 or more feet above the ground.  Larson says the wind turbines in use here would be some of the tallest in the country once they’re installed.  The Mineral Springs Wind Farm is just one of 20 wind farms Tenaska is in the process of developing.

Of the 9,000 acres secured so far, Larson says about 6,500 of those acres are in Hamilton County.  Another 3,000 acres are in the pipeline to be leased currently.  About 70% of folks Larson, Cummings, and Parks have talked to have been positive.  That acreage is split between about 25 landowners, according to Larson.

1 comment
    May 10, 2024 at 8:20 am

    And the scam , continues 1


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