Morgan Co. Commissioners Approve Building Permit for Macoupin Co. Wind Farm Substation

By Benjamin Cox on November 22, 2023 at 9:33am

The Morgan County Commissioners and Apex Clean Energy are once again in talks over a wind farm, but not one that’s going to be in Morgan County.

Apex is currenly in the process of getting permits for a smaller scale wind farm in northern Macoupin County known as the Lotus Wind Project.

The wind farm’s citing permit was approved by the Macoupin County Board back in June. Apex has selected 52 sites in the Modesto-Palmyra-Scottville area to place turbines, with 45 turbines expected to be built across more than 16,000 acres. According to Apex, the project will contribute $57 million in property taxes to the local economy, including $37 million to local school districts.

The former AC-Humko site is once again being used as a lay-down yard for most of the turbines prior to construction.

Morgan County will also act as a conduit of sorts according to Morgan County Planner Dusty Douglas: “The collector lines will go to a substation in Morgan County, a property in Morgan County. We will see some [new construction] growth from that.”

The Morgan County Commissioners approved a building permit for the substation on Monday morning on the condition that a dollar amount of insurance be placed on the road use agreement. The substation is expected to be placed along the Nortonville Road, on the southeast side of the intersection of Illinois Route 111.

Douglas says other than the new construction, the county will see minimal return on the project. Douglas says a dollar amount on the insurance will likely be completed with Morgan County Road Engineer Matt Coultas and the county commissioners within the coming week after the Thanksgiving holiday.