WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Construction Begins This Month on Western Illinois Wind Farm

May 7, 2019

The Cardinal Point Wind Farm will include 60 turbines spread across northern McDonough County and southern Warren County.  The developer said construction work is beginning this month.

“It’s been a long time in the making. I think we’re going on year 11 or 12,” said Project Manager Matt Martin of Capital Power

“We’re real excited to make it come to fruition here.”

Plans for the farm were announced in 2009 and the project has gone through a couple ownership changes since then.  And Capital Power has made a few changes to the project since acquiring it.

Credit Courtesy Capital Power

Most recently, the company announced plans to relocate five of the turbines from Warren County to McDonough County.  That would mean 46 turbines will be in McDonough and 14 in Warren.

“We’ve had a lot of discussions with the folks at Point Pleasant Township (in Warren County) and there are certain turbines that were objectionable to folks,” said Martin.

“We have plenty of land in McDonough County, and we want to be a good neighbor and build a project that works for everyone, so we’re looking to move some turbines.”

The change must still be approved by the McDonough County Board, which could do so this month. No one objected to the proposal during a public hearing last month.

Meanwhile, the company will move ahead with the turbines already approved. This month it will begin improving roads leading to the turbine sites. After that, foundations will be built at those sites, and the company could begin erecting turbines as soon as August.

“We are still looking to be operational testing out our turbines as early as December. Ameren is well underway with the construction of their substation in Hire Township. And we’ll look to be fully operational in March of next year,” said Martin.

He said the estimated cost of building the wind farm remains $230 million.