Mount Pulaski's wind farm project to be pushed forward under new ownership

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[December 22, 2016]  LINCOLN - During the Logan County Board meeting on Tuesday, December 20, board member David Hepler said the wind farm project near Mount Pulaski has been sold.

Swift Clean Energy, a renewable energy company based in New York City, purchased the Meridian Wind Farm Project planned for south and southwest Logan County from Relight, a company based in Italy.

Planning for the wind project began about seven years ago with wind test towers. There were a number of stumbles in how Relight approached the processes for land acquisition and government approvals. The result was that many people in the community became upset and a distrust set in.

The first formal request for conditional use of land for wind turbines was made to the Logan County Board in January 2015. It ended in a tie vote, declining approval.

After their first application, Relight took the public criticism and feedback from the meetings and public hearings, and regrouped. They held local informational meetings, addressed the issues, reapplied to the Logan County Board in July 2015, and won approval for the project.

The Conditional Use terms would need to be met per the county agreement, which includes road repairs, property protection, and a long check list of criteria, that also includes meeting all the standards required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency studies and conditions, before building permits would be issued.

The project construction had yet to move forward.

Hepler said the new company seems like a better fit and would alleviate concerns for people in Mount Pulaski.

Board Chairman Chuck Ruben and Logan County Economic Development Director Bill Thomas recently met with Swift Clean Energy, and Hepler previously met with them.

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Ruben said some of the people in the company had worked on the wind farm project near Emden and they were nice to work with then.

Board member Kevin Bateman asked if it changed the agreement (with the county) at all.

Ruben said the company would still honor the agreement.

Ruben said Swift Clean Energy wants to get enough done to qualify for government incentives for this year. They plan to have eight test holes dug before the first of the year and have already ordered some of the equipment for the project.

[Angela Reiners/Jan Youngquist]

Past related articles

Nov 24, 2014 - Mount Pulaski community hears details of proposed Meridien Wind Farm

Jan 22, 2015 -
Logan County Board denies Relight Wind Farm request

July 10, 2015 -
ZBA vote a tie on proposed Mount Pulaski wind farm

July 20, 2015 -
Proposed wind farm for Mount Pulaski to be voted Tuesday

July 22, 2015 -
County Board votes on Mount Pulaski wind farm

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