MOUNT PULASKI — A proposed $400 million Logan County wind farm will move forward with new owners, who said that while existing terms will be honored, some of the turbine sites will change.
Swift Current Energy, a new firm based near Portland, Maine, has purchased the Meridian Wind Farm Project from Relight, a company based in Italy. The deal was finalized Dec. 8, said Matt Birchby, Swift Current Energy principal.
“We will be meeting with the property owners and introducing ourselves to the citizens and leaders of Logan County next week,” he said.
A series of meetings and information sessions have been scheduled with landowners who previously signed with Relight to host 81 turbines for what now will be called the Hilltopper Wind Farm Project. The wind farm will be south and west of Mount Pulaski with towers stretching to Elkhart and Broadwell.
“Everything will be pretty much the same,” Birchby said. “As the new owners, we are bound by all of the previous agreements and conditions in the previous contracts from the Relight.”
That also holds true for the conditional use permit approved by the Logan County Board in July 2015.
There will be some location changes, however.
"We will probably need to correct the turbine layout that Relight did, because there are basic rules of thumb as far as turbine spacing and some of those basic rules were violated," he said. "So we will have to fix that, but there is a process associated with that. But beyond that, everything else will be the same.”
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The county approved the construction of 81 wind turbines and the construction of a new power substation in Mount Pulaski. The towers will be about 300 feet high and with the blades attached, the tip of the blade would reach 491 feet.
Bill Thomas, Logan County Economic Development Partnership executive director, said he has met with Swift Current Energy officials and believes the change in ownership should be a bonus for Logan County residents.
“I am very excited about this because I believe they have a very good understanding of rural areas like ours,” he said.
Swift Current Energy was formed last summer, Birchby said, but includes a team of experienced wind farm energy experts.
“We have over 80 years of experience in this field and we believe this is a great opportunity for us,” he said.
Thomas said he wasn’t concerned that the company just started.
“I feel very comfortable with them and know they will do well,” he said.
Construction is expected to start later this year, but a completion deadline has not been finalized.