With the Cargill Plant shutting its doors and leaving thousands jobless, many are wondering how the Plainview economy will bounce back after losing millions of dollars in revenue. Tri Global Energy in Lubbock is looking to the skies for the answer.
Curtis King, Senior Vice President of Tri Global Energy, says they're currently developing a plan to put four large wind farms in Hale County. "We're looking at 850 to 900 wind turbines out there. We've got about 130,000 acres leased in those four project areas, so it's pretty exciting. This is going to be a big deal for Hale County," King said.
King expects construction to begin late next year and for the entire project to be completed within five to six years.
And as wind turbines begin to pop up across Hale County, so will new jobs. King estimates at the end of the project there will be at least 100 new high-paying jobs. Now it won't bring back the 2,000 lost Cargill jobs, but King says these towering turbines will blow in just as much revenue for Plainview and possibly more over time.
"Each turbine is about $2 million on the ground, and you multiply that by 850 to 900, so your property tax is going up exponentially and all those are paid for by the wind company not landowners. Each of those landowners and investors will get royalties and a pretty hefty dividend," King said. "So there's going to be a lot of revenue pumped back into the area."
While there is no quick fix for the recent job loss, King hopes these new wind farms will take Hale County's economy to new heights. "It's an exciting relief," he said. "We've got an answer to the problems, because otherwise there is nothing on the horizon to replace what they've lost."
Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.