General and Illinois
At least one member of a Lee County committee is pushing for a longer required distance between wind turbines and homes.
The distance is now 1,400 feet ...Many wind farm opponents say that it should be much longer. Some are suggesting it be as far as 1.25 miles away from property lines.
A wind-energy company official said the firm is committed to the Ford County project, regardless of the Paxton City Council's proposed restrictions on turbines around the city.
"Unequivocally, we're committed to develop in Ford County," said Joe Borkowski, development manager for E.On Climate & Renewables. "If a larger buffer around Paxton is voted in (by the city council), some turbines - but definitely not all turbines - would be reallocated to Iroquois County, but we're talking right across the border."
A Whiteside County Board member is questioning the county's approach to how far wind turbines should be sited away from towns.
Jim Duffy, D-Sterling, said it sounded like the decision about the required distance between turbines and houses already had been made.
After a presentation last week by Woodford County State's Attorney Mike Stroh on enterprise zones and what Livingston County's approval of the special-use permit for Minonk Wind LLC entails, Glazier wants to delve further.
"People need to be aware of the big tax advantages we will be paying," said Davies. "We are guaranteeing a $600,000-per-year payment in lieu of taxes, with $450,000 going to the school."
The school district would see a net increase of $200,000 after adjustments in state aid related to the growth in the district's tax base, Davies said.
EUREKA - With a more than $200 million wind farm project likely coming to rural Benson next year, Woodford County officials are hoping to attract other economic development, including an ethanol plant.
But county officials warn that if townships, attorneys, fire departments and others cause problems with the wind farm development, it could impede other developers from coming to Woodford County.
Currently, the county's wind ordinance calls for a setback of 1,200 feet from the primary structure on a property. Nesbitt, at the February committee meeting, asked for a moratorium on the ordinance and suggested the setback be increased to 1,320 feet from any property line and 2,600 feet from any structure.
The move is one step toward speeding up government approval and permits so that offshore wind farms can eventually be developed, officials said.
But the action falls short of creating laws, regulations or even setting the evaluation standards. It does not establish how long it will take before offshore wind farms can go from being an idea to a reality.
Residents Christ Fillip Jr., Mary Rose Krupa and Kenneth Drake attended many of the wind-farm meetings and were disappointed with the outcome.
“This County Board is concerned with only one thing — dollars,” said Fillip, who lives in Leaf River.
Ogle County Board members also voted to extend it's wind farm ban until February 2012. This gives the Assessment Planning and Zoning Committee more time to review recommended changes to the county's wind farm ordinances.
An Ogle County wind farm long delayed by lawsuits is once again moving ahead.
Ogle County Zoning Administrator Michael Reibel said Tuesday that Apex Wind Energy, based in Charlottesville, Va., has bought the Baileyville Wind Project from Navitas-Gamesa and plans to start construction in the spring.
An Ohio-based wind farm developer has submitted an application to build about 76 turbines in Livingston County as part of a project that also would stretch into Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee counties. ...Iberdrola Renewables Inc. of Spain and Texas-based Horizon Wind Energy already have wind farm projects in development in the county.
Construction resumed Monday north of Ohio on the Big Sky wind farm, which may be operational by next winter. The wind farm's approaching completion has implications on the question of closing Ohio High School, although opinions differ on whether the money generated by the wind farm can solve the district's problems.
The Woodford County Zoning Board took testimony from opponents of a proposed 42-tower wind farm near El Paso Tuesday evening. At issue were the economic, environmental and safety for residents and businesses within the Rt. 24 and Interestate 39 corridor.
The Rail Splitter Wind Farm is expected to cover 11,000 acres in Logan and Tazewell counties. Nearly 70 wind turbines are planned, or enough to supply approximately 30,000 homes, according to developer Horizon Wind Energy.
Work would begin in Tazewell County, despite recent objections by State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz, who threatened legal action if the project was included in the county's enterprise zone.
Umholtz recently told the Tazewell County Board the project's inclusion wasn't a proper use for enterprise zones.
BLOOMINGTON - McLean County Board members won't know until 30 minutes before their meeting today whether they will vote on a special-use permit for a proposed 100-turbine wind farm.
That's when McLean County Circuit Court Judge Charles Reynard will give his decision on a request by wind farm opponents to postpone the vote.
Reynard took the issue under advisement late Monday after giving each side five minutes to present their arguments. Reynard was assigned the case late in the day after Melissa McGrath, the opponents' attorney, asked for a different judge.
The case originally was going to be heard by McLean County Circuit Court Judge James Souk.
The County Board meets at 9 a.m. in Room 400 of the Government Center, 115 E. Washington St.
A wind farm is breaking ground this summer at the home of Bureau County Farm Bureau President Rob Sharkey.
"They wanted to bring them in several years earlier, but there was just a tremendous amount of opposition," noted Sharkey, who along with his duties as head of the organization, rents the farmland where a number of the wind turbines are going.
At Tuesday's board meeting, trustees approved the first read of an ordinance for the construction of small wind energy systems as a special-use permit at single-family homes.
Village President Brian LeClercq embraced the idea, noting that there is still a lot of research that needs to be done.
"I'm really excited about alternative energy," LeClercq said after the meeting. "It's important for us to at least look at these types of things."
Under the proposed agreement, Ottawa's share will drop to 10 percent with the other 10 percent to be divided up among fire protection agencies in the expanded enterprise zone area.
Commissioner Dale Baxter opposed the change since it cut the city's minimum potential revenue from $1.5 million to $750,000. ...I see no reason why we should give half of it away. My job is to argue for the citizens of Ottawa, and I'm not willing to vote to give $750,000 at a minimum back to that company when they're going to benefit by millions of dollars themselves."
Commissioner Ed Whitney said the agreement did specify Ottawa was to respond, a provision that has been removed.
"I know you don't like losing the money. I don't like losing the money and I think we can work on that. But I don't think the public health and safety of this community and our citizens should be up for sale."
Ottawa city commissioners Tuesday put the brakes on an agreement to expand an enterprise zone to include a wind energy farm south of the city.
In September, Chicago-based Invenergy asked the city to expand its enterprise zone that now stretches from Ottawa to Grundy County to include about 225 acres for a 66-turbine wind farm south of Ottawa. The turbines will be erected in Brookfield, Allen and Grand Rapids townships. ...for two commissioners, the crux of the arrangement entailed another part of the agreement.
"I'm not in favor in that Grand Ridge (Energy) has asked the Ottawa Fire Department to provide emergency response services," said Ed Whitney, commissioner of public health and safety. "I know they're giving us a lot of money but I think we're selling ourselves out."