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NEWMAN — The new Harvest Ridge Wind Farm hasn't been built yet, but it already has a full slate of customers.

Texas-based EDP Renewables, which is developing the Harvest Ridge (formerly called Broadlands) Wind Farm in northeastern Douglas County, announced this week that it had lined up three wind-energy agreements with Walmart.

According to the terms, the retail giant will purchase 233 megawatts of electricity from EDP Renewables' various wind farms, including 50 megawatts specifically from Harvest Ridge.

As they stand now, plans are for the proposed 200-megawatt wind farm to be built and begin operations in 2019, according to EDP spokeswoman Blair Matocha.

Walmart's purchases will produce enough electricity to power with renewable energy more than 60,000 average homes in Illinois and 15,000 average homes in Indiana.

Matocha said that a local cooperative, the Wabash Valley Power Association, earlier agreed to buy 100 megawatts for 20 years and that a second unidentified private purchaser will buy 50 megawatts for an undisclosed number of years.

That left EDP with the final 50 megawatts to sell, which will go to Walmart for 15 years.

"The three purchases allow us to construct the wind farm," Matocha said.

She said the Douglas County project will mean 250 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and eight to 10 permanent jobs to operate and maintain the wind farm after construction has been completed.

In a statement issued to The News-Gazette, Walmart vice president for energy Mark Vanderhelm said: "Walmart has a goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and sourcing energy from wind farms developed by partners like EDP Renewables is a core component in the mix."

Reporter

Tim Mitchell is a reporter at The News-Gazette. His email is tmitchel@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@mitchell6).

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