Farmers object wind energy project to County Board

July 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Clean Line is offering compensation packages to the landowners. The company would work to sign off on voluntary agreements with each landowner, Clean Line Project Manager Amy Kurt said Wednesday.

In Grundy County, landowners would be paid a one-time payment of $10,200 per acre of land, included in the easement area. Additionally, the owners would receive compensation for the structures on their land, which would be one-time or annual payments, whichever they choose.

Structure compensation ranges, but is typically a one-time payment of $6,000 per structure or $500 per structure, per year.

“We understand that farming is their business and we want to compensate them fairly,” Kurt said.

The converter station will receive tax abatement’s through Joliet Arsenal Development Authority Area, since it would lie just outside of Grundy County’s enterprise zone.

JADA was just approved for an extension into Grundy County so now the converter station would be eligible for JADA abatements.

All tax abatements considered, Grundy County would receive $135,000 in revenue a year, for the first 15 years. Beginning in 2033, the county would receive $314,000 in revenue per year until 2043 when the figure would jump to $482,000 per year.

Those revenues would not be divided with Saratoga School and Morris Community High School, which would receive a separate payout of $4.5 million for their first 15 years.

Moving forward

As of now, the project still is awaiting statewide approvals. The Illinois Commerce Commission is the project’s regulating entity, and its final word on the project is expected by summer or fall of 2014.

Approval from the Iowa Utilities Board also is needed and is expected by 2015, Kurt said.

If approvals follow the anticipated timeline, the company plans to begin construction of the station in 2016. It would be operational by 2018.

Clean Line will be holding an open workshop with county officials and members of the public sometime this month.

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