NEWMAN — More than a dozen local businesses have been awarded work to assist with the construction of the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm in northeastern Douglas County. The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm is a 200 megawatt (MW) project that will consist of 48 wind turbines. Once operational, the wind farm will provide enough clean energy to power approximately 70,000 homes.
The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm is providing opportunities for a variety of local businesses, ranging from major contracts for fuel, concrete and aggregate to more construction needs such as fencing, dumpsters and portable toilets. The project is supporting businesses located in Douglas County and benefiting companies in nearby counties.
“As the owner of a small retail business in downtown Newman, I have been fortunate to sell construction material to the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm," stated Nathan House, Owner of House Lumber in Newman. “This project has brought new opportunities to Newman and the surrounding areas. I equate it to winning the lottery.”
Local fuel and concrete vendors also described how their businesses have benefited from the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm.
“Our small, family-owned business is very excited to be supplying fuel for the construction of the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm. Big projects like this help keep our business in the family,” stated Chris Warner, Vice President for United Fuel Company in Rantoul.
“We were able to purchase new equipment to provide the scale of material needed by the wind farm,” stated Paul Heuerman, Vice President of Operations for CCI Redi-Mix in Effingham. “This project has given us new opportunities to grow our business and to better serve the needs of this region moving forward.”
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The following local businesses have been awarded work at the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm: CCI Redi-Mix, Central Illinois Electric Co., Charles Heuerman Trucking, Contractor’s Disposal Inc., Fastenal, Gracey Trucking Inc., Home City Ice, House Lumber, Illinois Portable Toilets, Kennedy Farm Drainage, Koby Enterprises LLC, Local Boys Trucking, Signal 88 Security, SK Exteriors, and United Fuel Company.
The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm will support approximately 250 jobs during construction and 8-10 permanent jobs to operate and maintain the wind farm. In addition to subcontracting to local businesses, local unions are providing much of the labor for the construction.
In the coming weeks, construction crews will begin pouring foundations in preparation for wind turbines which are anticipated to start arriving before the end of the year.
The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm is expected to begin producing electricity by the end of the year and to be fully operational by early 2020. The construction process will continue into next spring and summer with restoration activities in order to return farmland and roads to the same or better condition.
The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm is owned by EDP Renewables North America, one of the largest owners and operators of wind farms in Illinois. EDP Renewables has launched a website to help share information about construction activities with the public: https://updates.harvestridgewindfarm.com/. The company can also be reached by calling 1-800-970-6841 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.