Tax break being offered to newest wind farm

RAYMONDVILLE — A deal is the table for Willacy County’s latest wind farm.

Today, county commissioners are expected to offer an 80-percent tax break to EDF Energy, a London-based company planning to build about 100 wind turbines along the county’s southeastern edge.

The wind farm would reap a windfall in property tax revenue for the Lyford school district.

Stretching across about 20,000 acres, the wind farm’s reinvestment zone runs from the FM 1420 area to Santa Monica and north to the Willamar area.

EDF is working with Raymondville developer Joe Wetegrove on the project.

EDF would become the third company to operate wind farms in Willacy County.

If the deal is cut, the tax break would be the smallest the county has offered wind farms in years.

County Judge Aurelio Guerra said the proposed 80-percent tax abatement is part of a new strategy aimed at drawing business into the county.

The county plans to offer EDF a smaller tax break because it plans a smaller wind farm, Guerra said.

As part of the strategy, he said, the county would offer 85-percent tax breaks to bigger wind farms.

The county would consider tax breaks of as much as 90-percent for wind farms that lure other companies to the county, Guerra said.

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