KCAP President says potential wind farm is a potential wind fall

The biggest economic development project Knox County’s ever seen could start to become a reality in 2020.

Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development President Ken Springer says by their current estimates a wind farm in Knox County would be about a $200 million project.

The $30 million that would bring to property taxing bodies over the span of 20 years.

That would be the equivalent of building a few subdivisions according to Springer.

“It’s going to be a major fiscal shot in the arm for every taxing body in this county that is in the project area. And for taxpayers, it’s also a shot in the arm because if this wind farm is pumping millions of tax dollars into local coffers, those are dollars that [taxpayers won’t have to pay.]”

Orion Renewable Energy brought two towers to the proposed wind farm site in the summer of 2018 in Henderson Township with the purpose of gauging local wind resources.

The Register-Mail reported in September that two farmers have already had an agreement with Orion which the county board has to sign off on.

Springer says the project will call for a lot of skilled tradesmen jobs, in addition to the road work that often accompanies such work because of the heavy equipment that’s brought in.

Already the county has seen some benefit from the wind energy sector in the laydown storage yard at the former Maytag property, although that facility is not related to the proposed wind farm.

Springer also says in 2020 KCAP will also undergo a new strategic planning process.

The public will get a chance to weigh in on the desired future direction for the group.

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