Public hearing planned for new windmill farm

A tractor plows cotton on a E.on wind farm in San Patricio County in 2010. E.on plans for a wind farm south of Bay City. (Photo by Allen D. Fisher)

Public hearing planned for new windmill farm

Recent plans call for 50 turbines to go in south of Bay City


E.on plans’ for a 50-acre windmill farm between Bay City and Wadsworth are finishing the final studies for the project.

Citizens of Matagorda County will get a chance to converse in a week and half at the county commissioners’ meeting, but E.on Wind Development Manager Nathan Yates said he’s not expecting there to be too many issues raised.

 “We’ve approached landowners south of Bay City, and we have not experienced much push back at all at this point. We always want to be transparent as possible,” Yates said Monday.

“We know it’s going to be a wonderful thing for the Matagorda business community. It’s a way to diversify an economic energy source and a clean, renewable energy source. It’s important. Not just today, but for our children’s children to diversify energy sources. Not just economically, but for our environment as a whole.”

E.on announced plans for a 150 mega watt wind farm on the south side of the county more than a year ago that will contain about 50 turbines. Specifics are still pending on the model and size of turbines that will be selected after wind studies will be completed by the end of the year Yates said.

“They have spent the past year doing wind studies, biological impact studies, and talking with land owners to find the best place to put the windmills,” Matagorda County Economic Development Corperation’s Executive Director Michael Ferdinand said. “They’re coming close to finishing all that up to know where to cite the individual windmills.”

The proposed wind farm will be E.on’s 18th in Texas alone, with 21 currently in operation in the U.S. and their 17th in Texas under construct in Willacy County.

E.on’s closest wind farm to Matagorda County would be Papalote Creek Wind Farm located in San Patricio County, between Taft and Sinton, containing 196 wind turbines that were completed in 2010.

Matagorda County commissioners approved at Monday’s meeting a reinvestment zone for a county tax abatement to a public hearing July 16, 9:45 p.m. at the Matagorda County Courthouse during the regular commissioners meeting.

“It’s important for the entire community to be knowledge about what’s going on. We want to be as transparent as possible about our process and overall wind farm,” Yates said. “The wind turbines are spaced two to three acres apart a do not affect normal farming operations.”

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