FORD RIDGE WIND PROJECT PROFILE
Apex Clean Energy is developing Ford Ridge Wind (also known as Ford County Wind), and the project recently received its building permits to begin construction. We are excited to be a part of your community.
- Planned to be located on approximately 15,000 acres of open farmland in rural western Ford County
- Capable of producing up to 120 MW of clean, homegrown energy, enough to power over 38,000 homes each year
- Expected to consist of approximately 43 wind turbines
- Each wind turbine, including the access road, typically takes less than half an acre of land out of production
- Existing high-voltage power lines and highways will limit the need for new infrastructure
- Farmers will continue farming their land with very limited disturbance
- Will represent a significant investment in local economy, with revenues for farmers, local government, and schools
- Will create about 80 full-time-equivalent jobs during construction
- Will create up to 8 permanent jobs at a local operations-and-maintenance facility
WHY FORD COUNTY?
If built, Ford Ridge will have a capacity of up to 120 MW, producing enough energy to power more than 38,000 homes every year. Representing a private investment well in excess of $200 million, Ford Ridge will benefit the economy of Ford County in the near term with construction jobs and local purchasing of materials and services. In the long term, the project promises to bring sustained tax revenue to the county for the local government and schools, as well as 30 years of local purchasing, employment, and investment.
One of the most exciting things about Ford Ridge Wind is the level of economic benefit it will bring this community. The Ford Ridge project will bring approximately $33.25 million to Ford County over 30 years, more than $10 million more than was estimated in its original plan. It will also inject about $50 million into the local economy through payments to local landowners. Finally, it will provide more than $2.5 million to the Village of Sibley through a Community Benefit Agreement.
Rural western Ford County was selected by Apex Clean Energy after a thorough examination of many candidate sites within Illinois for the following reasons:
- Verified wind resource
- Existing high-voltage power lines
- Expansive commercial farmland
- Existing network of state highways
- Avoids sensitive military and environmental areas
- Strong local landowner and community support
- County has previous experience in siting and approving wind farm development
Farmers who host turbines on their property and other participating landowners will also receive annual lease payments. These payments will continue over the projected 30-year lifespan of the wind farm, injecting millions of dollars into Ford County’s economy to support local merchants, contractors, and equipment suppliers.
WIND ENERGY FOR RURAL AMERICA
The cost of wind energy has dropped more than 50% over the past five years, providing a cost-competitive source for clean electricity across the nation. Wind powers the equivalent of 18 million American homes each year.* Wind energy comes with many benefits, including reduced pollution, increased domestic employment, consumer cost savings, water conservation, nationwide availability, and increased community revenues.** Wind turbines compliment working farms, because they allow for existing agricultural operations to continue around them. They also help farmers by diversifying the rural economy and providing a consistent, drought-resistant new harvest.
Ford Ridge Wind has received its approvals and its building permits. Construction will begin in the first half of 2021, and the project is targeting a 2021 commercial operations date.
*AWEA, Wind Energy Facts at a Glance, March 2015
**Department of Energy, Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States, 2015