CROSSVILLE – The Upper Cumberland has landed its first major economic development announcement of 2016 – a new wind turbine farm that’s expected to measure as the largest in Tennessee.
Cumberland County officials announced Tuesday that Apex Clean Energy, an independent renewable energy company based in Charlottesville, Virginia, will locate a new wind farm on private land 10 miles east of Crossville. The project represents an investment upward of $100 million and is expected to produce up to 71MW of power with 20 to 23 turbines. The project is planned to begin operations in 2017.
The announcement is the first of many developmental and business-related projects anticipated in 2016 across Cumberland County, officials said.
“This is very exciting news for Cumberland County – for our residents, businesses and visitors, alike,” Brad Allamong, president of the Crossville/Chamber of Commerce, said. “We’re thrilled that so many business and government leaders across this county came together to collaborate on this common vision. It’s such positive news for our region.”
Allamong joined Apex Clean Energy officials, Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr., Crossville Mayor James Mayberry and other business leaders for the formal announcement at 1 p.m. at the Crossville/Cumberland County Visitors’ Center: Gateway to the Big South Fork.
“I’m very inspired by what’s on the horizon,” Carey said. “This is exactly the type of thing that happens when communities work together.”
The project boundary will encompass around 1,800 acres, with roughly 50 acres for the project itself. When built, the Cumberland County wind farm will have a capacity of up to 71 MW, enough power for about 20,000 homes every year.
Construction will bring about 50 local jobs, and approximately five full-time local jobs will be added for operations and maintenance. The project also brings 25 years of annual revenue for county, local landowners and local schools.
The Cumberland County wind project will be only the second in Tennessee – and the largest. It nearly triples the energy output of Buffalo Mountain Windfarm, built in 2000 by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) about 30 miles northwest of Knoxville.
“Our goal in developing the wind project in Cumberland County is to create a clean, renewable, and homegrown source of energy that can supply power to Tennessee,” said Mark Goodwin, president of Apex Clean Energy. “We believe renewable energy projects like this will move our country toward energy independence by harnessing the energy that flows through our own backyards.”