Within two years, upwards of 150 wind turbines may be spinning across portions of Appanoose, Davis and Schuyler Counties.
Nick Schuler, development manager at Tradewind Energy Inc., told county officials Monday the company is aggressively pursuing a wind farm and it could be operational by the end of the year 2020.
Roughly 49,000 acres of land have already been secured for the project, with another 15,000 acres in the works. The wind farm would be located in eastern Appanoose County and western Davis County in Iowa, and northern Schuyler County in Missouri.
The wind farm would span an area from about Lancaster, Missouri up to Unionville, Iowa. The acreage of the project would be roughly evenly split between the three counties, Schuler said.
It's expected roughly 300 megawatts would be generated, and as many as 150 wind turbines could be installed to accomplish that. The exact number will depend on what kind of wind turbine is used in the project.
The company already has four meteorological observation towers — two in Davis County and two in Schuyler County — to study wind resources and direction. Environmental studies have already been underway, as well.
Schuler said Tradewind operates differently than other companies wind energy companies. Instead of first securing investors and things like where the power is going, they secure the land first. This allows them to move a little quicker in the process, he said. After that, they pursue where the power will go. Schuler indicated there has already been interest in that regard.
Moving forward, the county and Tradewind will need to work out a road maintenance agreement with the county. Schuler said the company studies what their needs of things like county roads are, and enter into an agreement on what the company's impact would be.
"[The agreement is] designed to figure out who's responsible for what, who's going to pay for what — a lot of it is the company will pay for infrastructure needed," Schuler said.
There could be local tax impacts as well, with roughly a dozen jobs being located in the area once the wind farm is operational. There could be 200 temporary jobs during the construction of the farm, as well.
It's been landowners locally that have driven the project into high-gear. A landowner-organized meeting in Moulton was attended by roughly 60 people earlier this year.
"With the amount of land and traction we've had with this project, it has accelerated a lot of things," Schuler said.