Just over the northern border of Logan County, white pillars have
shot up recently in the harvested fields. At 328 feet tall, the
towers without blades might suggest Jack and the Beanstalk sprouts.
But this is no fairy tale. When the 164-foot blades are added, each
tower is capable of producing 1.5 megawatts of electricity.
The combined potential of the farm could produce as much as 100
megawatts of electricity, which is enough to meet the annual energy
needs about 30,000 homes, which is about three times the number of
homes in Logan County, according to the assessor's office.
The wind farm is in a race against time to be set up to make a
grid connection during the next of two shutdown times a year. To
miss the next downtime would mean as much as a six-month loss of
Tuesday morning, county board chairman Dick Logan joined
Rail Splitter Wind Farm and Horizon Wind Energy officials at the
official groundbreaking for the project that will place the first
wind turbines in Logan County. The progressive date was accomplished
when a special adjourned county board meeting was called on Oct. 30
in order to get the board's approval of the final document, a
decommissioning agreement, that finished meeting all the county's
requirements for the construction of the wind farm.
A lawsuit that would have held up progress was dropped last week,
and at the Tuesday meeting of the Logan County Board this week,
Will D'Andrea said that all the
conditions of the conditional use had been met. He said that he
had issued their first permit, which was to begin construction
of a lay-down yard, and he had received payment for it that
afternoon. He was expecting more by the end of the week.
By end of day on Friday, D'Andrea had 20 new checks sitting on
his desk for 20 building permits for the wind farm. Each tower
building permit costs $7,780.
The Logan County assessor's office will also be seeing revenues
for the county from the wind farm. The turbines are assessed on how
much power they actually produce. Each of the 29 towers is expected
to bring in $13,000 to $15,000 each year.