$100M wind farm coming to Cumberland County

News release from Cumberland County officials
January 12, 2016 (Crossville, Tenn.) — Cumberland County (TN) officials announced today that Apex Clean Energy, an independent renewable energy company based in Charlottesville, Virginia, is planning to locate a new wind farm on private land in the county, ten miles east of Crossville.

The Crab Orchard project represents an investment upwards of $100 million into Cumberland County and is expected to produce up to 71MW of power with 20 to 23 turbines. The project is expected to begin operations in 2017.

“This is very exciting news for Cumberland County — for our residents, businesses and visitors, alike,” said Brad Allamong, president of the Crossville/Chamber of Commerce. “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.”

Mr. Allamong will join Apex Clean Energy officials, Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey, Jr., Crossville Mayor James Mayberry and business leaders from across Cumberland County for an announcement this Tuesday, January 12 at 1:00 pm. The announcement will occur at the Crossville/Cumberland County Visitors’ Center: Gateway to the Big South Fork, located at 176 River Otter Drive, Crossville, TN 38571.

The announcement marks the first of many developmental and business-related projects anticipated in 2016 across Cumberland County, led by members of the Crossville/Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and officials from the City of Crossville and Cumberland County. Many will be on hand.

“I’m very inspired by what’s on the horizon,” said Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey, Jr. “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 to be taken up by the project itself. When built, the Cumberland County project will have a capacity of up to 71 MW, enough power for about 20,000 homes every year. Average electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer in 2014 was nearly 11,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), an average of 917 kWh per month. A kilowatt is equal to one thousand watts. Large residential or commercial buildings may use several megawatts — a million watts — per month.

Construction will create about 50 local jobs during construction, and approximately five full-time local jobs 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 just 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.”

Apex brought four wind projects online in 2015: Hoopeston Wind in Illinois; Kay Wind and Balko Wind, both in Oklahoma; and Cameron Wind in Texas. At least two more of its Oklahoma projects, Grant Wind and Kingfisher Wind, are expected to begin operations in 2016.