Event to propose wind farm Tuesday


Luke Taylor, News Editor

A representative from Coles Wind will present Tuesday in a virtual event to share details on a proposed wind farm for Coles County.

The presentation will be held over Zoom from 10 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 9 and can be accessed at https://eiu.zoom.us/j/95090179998.

Coles Wind is a project which aims to promote clean energy use and provide jobs for residents of Coles County.

Apex Clean Energy, from Charlottesville, Va., is developing and operating wind and solar energy facilities across the country.

ACE has partnered with organizations like the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to aid in wildlife conservation and the Oceti Ŝakowiŋ Power Authority to bring wind power to reservations.

Max Jabrixio, the public engagement manager for Coles Wind, will present on the proposal for a wind farm which could power over 100,000 homes, according to the group’s website.

The current “area of interest” for this project covers a wide area north of Charleston where Apex is working with “local landowners, community leaders and various stakeholders” to plan out the location.

The organization has chosen this area because the environmental impacts of installing windmills would be relatively low and wind power would be reliable.

The plan currently consists of 70 turbines spaced a quarter mile to a half mile apart on farmland. Farmers would still be able to use this land with “very limited disturbance.”

Landowners with turbines on their property would receive annual lease payments for the projected 30-year lifespan of the project.

The Coles Wind project states that wind energy would reduce pollution and increase domestic employment, consumer cost savings, water conservation, nationwide availability and community revenues. It also says that “hundreds” of jobs would be created during construction of the turbines, and a few jobs would be created to continue maintenance and operations afterward.

Apex Clean Energy will not receive federal subsidies for the creation of this wind farm but will receive production tax credit for energy generated during the first 10 years of its operation.

One of the widely said problems with turbines is how many birds turbines kill. However, according to the Coles Wind website, turbines in the U.S. kill around 234,000 birds each year, but cats in the U.S. kill around 2.4 billion birds each year.

Luke Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].