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E-zone extension for wind farm gets state approval

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently approved an expansion of the Freeport/Stephenson County Enterprise Zone to support the 100-megawatt EcoGrove Wind LLC wind farm proposed for northwest of Lena. In March, the Stephenson County Board approved the enterprise-zone extension, but the state's final approval of the initiative marks a milestone for the EcoGrove project, said Shawn Gaffney, president of EcoEnergy LLC, the company that will build the EcoGrove farm. Freeport-based EcoEnergy is a division of The Morse Group. "It was critical to the project," Gaffney said of the state's approval of the e-zone extension. "That's really the last big hurdle we had to move forward on the project."

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently approved an expansion of the Freeport/Stephenson County Enterprise Zone to support the 100-megawatt EcoGrove Wind LLC wind farm proposed for northwest of Lena.

In March, the Stephenson County Board approved the enterprise-zone extension, but the state's final approval of the initiative marks a milestone for the EcoGrove project, said Shawn Gaffney, president of EcoEnergy LLC, the company that will build the EcoGrove farm. Freeport-based EcoEnergy is a division of The Morse Group.

"It was critical to the project," Gaffney said of the state's approval of the e-zone extension. "That's really the last big hurdle we had to move forward on the project."

EcoGrove involves an estimated $200 million investment and will create 10 full-time jobs. Phase 1 of the wind farm will likely include 67 turbines spread out over approximately 7,300 acres in Stephenson County.

Gaffney said Wednesday that project organizers have nearly finished engineering on the project and will soon commence construction. Once work starts, construction on the farm will likely be completed by the end of the year.

Efforts are now... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently approved an expansion of the Freeport/Stephenson County Enterprise Zone to support the 100-megawatt EcoGrove Wind LLC wind farm proposed for northwest of Lena.

In March, the Stephenson County Board approved the enterprise-zone extension, but the state's final approval of the initiative marks a milestone for the EcoGrove project, said Shawn Gaffney, president of EcoEnergy LLC, the company that will build the EcoGrove farm. Freeport-based EcoEnergy is a division of The Morse Group.

"It was critical to the project," Gaffney said of the state's approval of the e-zone extension. "That's really the last big hurdle we had to move forward on the project."

EcoGrove involves an estimated $200 million investment and will create 10 full-time jobs. Phase 1 of the wind farm will likely include 67 turbines spread out over approximately 7,300 acres in Stephenson County.

Gaffney said Wednesday that project organizers have nearly finished engineering on the project and will soon commence construction. Once work starts, construction on the farm will likely be completed by the end of the year.

Efforts are now underway to develop a project management site that will include a 12-acre "lay down area" to stage equipment and components for the farm's construction, said County Board Chairman John Blum in his recent chairman's report.

EcoEnergy is also working on finalizing plans for phase 2 of the project, which has the potential of tripling the investment, Blum said in his report.

Ashley Cross, a spokesperson for DCEO, said investing in renewable energy is both "environmentally and economically critical" to Illinois' future.

"The expansion of the Freeport/Stephenson County Enterprise Zone is another way that Illinois is working to promote clean, renewable energy while helping to stimulate the economy and create jobs throughout the region," Cross said.

Mill Race Letter

Stephenson County Board Chairman John Blum recently reported that a letter of intent may come before the County Board in June regarding a renewable fuels company that has expressed interest in the Mill Race Industrial Park.

Few details are available on this company, but this project is one of several leads being pursued by GVA Williams, the firm hired by the county to market the industrial park.

According to Blum's recent chairman's report, a renewable fuels company, a logistics company, a few manufacturing firms, and a spec-building developer may be possible projects for the industrial park. Specific company names have not been provided.

"All of these projects are sizeable and require customized development agreements that account for the level of investment and jobs created," Blum said in his report, which was delivered at the May 14 County Board meeting.

 


Source: http://www.journalstandard....

MAY 30 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/15247-e-zone-extension-for-wind-farm-gets-state-approval
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