NEWMAN — Fifteen local businesses have been awarded work so far in connection with the construction of the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm in rural Douglas County.
EDP Renewables spokeswoman Blair Matocha said Wednesday that the work ranges from major contracts for fuel, concrete and aggregate to construction needs such as fencing, dumpsters and portable toilets.
For example, House Lumber in Newman will be providing construction material for the wind farm.
“This project has brought new opportunities to Newman and the surrounding areas,” owner Nathan House said. “I equate it to winning the lottery.”
Rantoul’s United Fuel Company got the fuel contract.
“Our small, family-owned business is very excited to be supplying fuel for the construction of the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm,” Vice President Chris Warner said. “Big projects like this help keep our business in the family.”
Other local businesses receiving work from Harvest Ridge include CI Redi-Mix, Central Illinois Electric Co., Charles Heuerman Trucking, Contractor’s Disposal Inc., Fastenal, Gracey Trucking Inc., Home City Ice, Illinois Portable Toilets, Kennedy Farm Drainage, Koby Enterprises LLC, Local Boys Trucking, Signal 88 Security and SK Exteriors.
“It is really exciting to see this major construction effort benefiting so many different types of companies and workers in the area,” Chris Brooks, director of project management with EDP Renewables North America, said Wednesday.The wind farm will support about 250 jobs during construction and eight to 10 permanent jobs to operate and maintain it.
Matocha said local unions are providing much of the labor for the construction.
The wind farm is scheduled to begin producing electricity by the end of the year and to be fully operational by early 2020.