The Tazewell County Board Executive Committee weighed two options Wednesday for increasing a bond for Rail Splitter Wind Farm, located near Delavan and Hopedale.

The options, according to Tazewell County Community Development Administrator Kristal Bachman, are to increase the amount of the bond by $500,000 by adding escrow funds or increasing it by 2 percent.

“What (EDP Renewables) wants to do now is take that $500,000 and throw it into the initial bond,” said Kristal Bachman, Tazewell County community development administrator. “On top of that, after the 11th anniversary of the wind farm being in working condition, we can ask for an increase of 2 percent on the $1.4 million. We’re at that 11th year right now, so there are two things we’re looking at.”

The surety bond was part of a decommissioning plan and escrow agreement with the renewable energy firm EDP Renawables, LLC, which established the wind farm. The bond, in the amount of $1,405,700, would help cover the cost of  decommissioning the facility in the event it becomes necessary. The plan was approved by the Tazewell County Board in 2008 and also provided for the establishment of a $500,000 escrow account with Herget Bank.

Before calling the matter to a vote, the committee heard from representatives of EDP Renewables during a brief telephone conference.

“What we are looking to do is to move or change the escrow security into the bond, if you allow us to do so,” said Kurt Inza, a senior risk and insurance manager for EDP Renewables. “Moving the ($500,000 escrow funds) into the bond would be a possibility ... because we would like to keep these two securities that are based on two different documents separate.”

Adding the $500,000 currently in the escrow account to the surety bond would benefit Tazewell County, Inza added, because he believes a surety company would be able to stretch the money further than an escrow manager could. EDP would benefit from moving the money into the surety bond because it is more efficient than having the funds in escrow, he said.

“This is cash that is sitting in an account, which is really not the most modern way to handle cash,” Inza said. “It can devalue the money a little bit, so that’s where we get our benefit from.”

The committee chose the option of increasing the surety bond by 2 percent over the proposal to add escrow funds to it, and the committee unanimously voted to table discussion on the matter. The resolution will be discussed at the regular monthly County Board meeting on May 29.