Morgan County officials are waiting a little longer to proceed with a public forum to discuss a wind energy project.
Apex Clean Energy’s application for its Lincoln Land Wind project was submitted in February and county commissioners accepted by Regional Planning Commission director Dusty Douglas in May.
But a statewide order limiting the size of gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled things because officials want community engagement in the process.
“We are struggling to set up a public hearing,” Douglas said. “The hearing is a chance for the developer to make a case for the project, for the community to ask questions.”
The county could organize a virtual meeting during which Apex would present its plans and participate in a question-and-answer period, but an in-person hearing is preferred, Douglas said.
Up to 107 wind turbines would be erected in the eastern portion of Morgan County for the project.
According to the application, the turbines would be placed on about 36,000 acres and produce roughly 303.6 megawatts of energy that would be transferred to existing electricity lines.
The project application was submitted in February and modified in May to represent the change of ownership of a parcel of land, according to Jaci Friedley, Apex director of public engagement.
“The changes … were not considered material, meaning that they don’t impact the fundamental aspects of our application, such as turbine locations, timeline, etc.,” Friedley said. “The changes simply added some clarifying information and documentation of elements already in the application. In one instance, there was a change in ownership on a parcel of land due to a death, so that update was recorded.”
Apex will continue to work with the county to answer questions about the project and move forward as time and state restrictions allow, she said.
The complete application is available on the Morgan County website. A map of the turbines also is available at morganmaps.net.