Wind farm project nears completion in Wadsworth
E.On’s Peyton Creek wind farm is well under construction in Matagorda County with the project expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
The project was heralded as a strong economic driver for Matagorda County.
Michael Ferdinand, executive director for the Matagorda County EDC, has been a strong supporter of the project.
“They said they would employ 10 and when you add in all of our modifiers and multipliers to that you talking about the addition of 26 jobs to the county,” Ferdinand said. “This is going to have an incredible impact to our schools as well.”
In June of 2017, the Matagorda County EDC voted to support this project.
Bay City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture President Mitch Thames also is a strong supporter of the project.
“When I got here in this county, our unemployment was in the 14-16 percent rate and our incomes and moral was low,” Thames said. “We had to believe in ourselves and we had to step up. When I got here, people would ask me when is somebody going to come and save us? My answer was real clear, nobody is going to come and save us, we have to pick ourselves up.
“What we have seen with abatements and incentives are real jobs and real opportunities,” Thames said. “We have to continue with these abatements and continue with incentives and continue to lower our unemployment rate.”
Thames said the county’s unemployment rate is at six percent and still is two percent higher than neighboring counties.
“I want us as a county to continue moving forward and to continue to build all kinds of projects,” Thames said. “We need to continue to be open minded as a community to tax abatements and incentives because that is what these counties that are growing are doing. Let’s think long terms for our children and grandchildren can have a livable wage.”
Richard Saunders of E.On said the company looking to locate the smaller scaled wind farm in the reinvestment zone.
“This agreements work very well for school districts and the Texas Comptroller’s Office has evaluated this project and has valued this at $42 million for Texas and more importantly $20 million for the county and the school district which would be Bay City ISD,” Saunders said.
Saunders said the project would guarantee 10 jobs with an investment on the bankroll being at $170-180 million.
“If Phase I is approved, we are pretty confident a second phase with a total investment of $400 million,” Saunders said.
“Peyton Creek will be our 24th wind project in North America and construction, along with our long-term operation of this project, will deliver clean, low-cost energy to South Texas and generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and land lease payments,” said Silvia Ortin, Chief Operating Officer North America. “We appreciate the support of the local community and are excited to significantly diversify the tax base and employment opportunities in the area.”
The project, located in the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) south market, is powered by 48 3.15 MW turbines supplied by the Nordex Group and will generate enough electricity to power more than 45,000 homes. With the addition of Peyton Creek, E.ON will have a total capacity of more than 4,000 MW online in the U.S.
E.ON has developed, built, and operates more than 3,873 MW of solar, wind and energy storage projects across the U.S., with more on the way.