LYNWOOD | The winds of economic development will soon be blowing stronger here.
At Tuesday night's board meeting, Village President Gene Williams announced the village has been awarded a $120,000 Community Block Development Grant to build a wind turbine farm.
The village will also put up $20,000 towards the project.
"We are very excited to be able to move forward with our wind farm project," Williams said. "We have been working with developers on our vision of Lynwood, and now we can show them actual changes that back what we have been saying -- that growth is in our future."
The village applied for the CBDG in February 2009. The long-term plan calls for building multiple wind turbines on the 40-acre property on Lincoln Highway, about one mile from the Village Hall.
In addition to the farm, Williams wants to build a technology-training center, where turbine technicians could receive certification.
The short-term plan is to use the $140,000 to buy and build three to four wind turbines and a weather station for a start.
"We want to put up different types of turbines, so that we can measure which ones perform well," Williams said. "It will also be beneficial for future training to have many varieties of turbines on the farm."
Data collection and analysis that would measure the potential for wind energy has been completed. Based on the results, officials determined the economic feasibility of wind turbines to help supply electrical energy to the village was good.
Building Commissioner Jerry Jones, who wrote the original CBDG application, said the village will be able to use the energy created by the first three to four wind turbines.
"We plan to use the energy created to operate our water pumping stations," Jones said. "We plan to pump our water off of the wind energy we create. We can save the village money on purchased electricity while we continue to work to expand the farm."
The next step in the project is for village officials to meet with representatives from various wind turbine companies to look at their options.
"We want to make sure what we bring in is conducive to our success," Williams said. "That means a combination of things -- cost of a particular turbine, how quick we can have a turbine up and running, the demand for technicians who know how to maintain that particular turbine, and how it fits in with our long-range plans."
Williams has met several times with the Cook County Planning and Development Committee members to get their input. The committee made the final decision on the CBDG that was awarded to Lynwood.
"The county officials are very excited and encouraging," Williams said. "They like the idea of the technician-training center."
Williams plans to meet with the Cook County Suburban Economic Development Committee this week to discuss the project in greater detail.