General and Illinois
How power-generating wind turbines affect birds and bats figured prominently in testimony Thursday as a county hearing on the proposed White Oak Wind Energy Center entered its third day.
Paul Kerlinger, a bird migration and ecology expert from Cape May Point, N.J., spoke before the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals. About 160 people attended the hearing at Heartland Community College.
The Hanover Park village board voted unanimously Thursday to allow a 150-foot-tall meteorological testing tower to be built, the necessary precursor to the permanent structure.
But the wind turbine, which District 20 estimates would save $8 million over its predicted 30-year lifespan, is hardly a certainty.
A yearlong, $60,000 study -- paid for by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation -- must produce data that there's significant wind energy available.
The study must also convince trustees that building a 300-foot, 100-ton wind turbine smack-dab in the middle of an urban setting is a good idea.
Some officials cautioned that will be difficult, but they're willing to go along with the testing tower.
Now the big question is where to put it.
One of the most distinctive symbols in the iconography of clean, sustainable energy is the spire and blades of a wind turbine, glistening in the sunlight amid rolling hills, tranquil farmland or over the deep blue of the open ocean.
These mammoth towers are statements in the paradigm shift taking place on the topic of energy. They produce no emissions, no residue or chemical waste, none of the traditional environmental concerns lamented by the green movement.
PONTIAC - A hearing for the first power company wanting to build a wind farm on Cayuga Ridge in Livingston County could be scheduled later this summer.
A second company is getting ready to file its applications to build in the same area.
PPM Energy of Portland, Ore., has filed a request as Heartland Wind with the county's zoning office to build 323 wind turbines in Livingston County. The total project is 373 wind turbines.
About a third of the 96 acres Heartland Community College acquired last year may become home to a power-generating wind turbine.
The college's board heard Tuesday a proposal to locate a wind turbine on 35 acres on the north end of the new property and to the west of its current campus buildings at 1500 W. Raab Road, Normal.
Rob Widmer, vice president of business services at Heartland, said the Board of Trustees might have to reconsider the turbine's location because of safety issues with how close the structure can be to buildings when there is ice coming off it.
But in 2005, it was thought revenue from wind turbines might offset costs and make other increases unnecessary.
Three years later, the wind farms haven't been built.
In the meantime, wind turbine manufacturers are getting more for their product because of higher demand. Although Henry County had based its building fees on the cost of the turbines, it may price itself out of the market unless a change is made. ...
A 266-tower wind farm is one step closer to becoming a reality, but some Bishop Hill residents say the project will hurt their historical town.
The Henry County Zoning Board of Appeals voted Wednesday to recommend to the Henry County Board that wind energy company Invenergy, Inc. receive conditional use permits for the towers.
The company is one of three proposing to locate towers in the area but some residents in Bishop Hill, a historical Swedish settlement from the 1800s that features preserved buildings from that time, oppose the plan.
Terry Groves, director of planning and zoning for the county, said he wouldn't be surprised if the plan gets laid over for another 30 days. But he's unsure what will happen Monday. The plan is designed to set up terms by which the wind-farm companies would compensate adjacent homeowners who experience a loss in property value due to the wind towers. The plan has been the subject of considerable debate, but a final version of the document has not yet been approved.
The lawsuits, filed in late February, have delayed the county's approval of the protection plan. The suits seek to invalidate the special-use permits that would allow two companies to build wind farms in Stephenson County.
Horizon Wind Energy may expand the Twin Groves Wind Farm in eastern McLean County. Workers began erecting the first towers of the 240-turbine wind farm over the weekend. Twin Groves should be partially operational at the end of the year with 120 turbines complete.
Workers will then begin the second phase of construction on the other 120 turbines.
“We’re looking at a possible third phase, too,” said project manager Bill Whitlock, of Horizon. “We’d have to talk to landowners and go back to the county for permits.”
Whitlock didn’t have an exact location or know how many turbines a third phase would add. He said the addition would be “significantly” smaller than the other 120-turbine phases.
Some counties have shorter setbacks; at least one county's is greater. A few months ago, Brown County in central Illinois voted in a 2,000-foot setback, which may be the state's longest.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker proposed a statewide 1,800-foot setback.
The sight of 66 massive spinning fan blades will soon be common sight throughout southeastern La Salle County after county board members unanimously passed the first phase of a large wind farm project.
Board members voted unanimously Thursday to grant special use permits on multiple tracts of property for 66 wind turbines, with a maximum of 4 turbines per tract on various parcels in Grand Rapids, Brookfield and Allen townships.
BELVIDERE — The fate of Boone County’s first wind farm may not be decided until Sept. 15 when the issue comes before Circuit Judge Gerald Grubb.
Boone County State’s Attorney Jim Hursh said Wednesday’s 7-4 vote against the Boone Heritage Wind Farm LLC proposal will be part of the court record as the judge renders his decision.