On Friday, Rockford attorney Rick Porter, who is representing Hamilton Township, informed Lee County of the township board's Dec. 11 decision to file an objection to the wind farm, known as the Green River project. ...By Porter's reading of the law, the township's written objection now means the project needs a three-fourths County Board majority for passage.
The Windy City earned the nickname from blowhard politicians, not its weather conditions, but the winds that blow across the vast expanses of farmland throughout Illinois may soon help power the energy-hungry Chicago area.
A Texas company will formally present a $500 million wind power project at a Tuesday hearing in Bloomington of the McLean County Zoning Board, the latest step in a process that began more than three years ago. The result -- in terms of energy produced -- would be the country's largest land-based wind farm.
Once upon a time, getting approval for a wind farm in Lee County was relatively simple.
Those days are gone.
For the latest proposal to build wind turbines, the county had 26 meetings that took up 65 hours.
Closing arguments are expected to begin tonight in the controversial application by Invenergy to allow a 100-turbine wind farm in part of the agricultural areas of McLean and Woodford counties.
Attorneys representing Invenergy and opponents will be allowed to speak 20 minutes and people who previously testified and are not represented by attorneys will have five minutes.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Room 400 of the Government Center, 115 E. Washington St.
An energy and environmental consultant hired by opponents of the proposed White Oak Wind Energy Center maintains Invenergy Wind LLC fails to meet several requirements for a special-use permit for the wind farm.
Tom Hewson of Energy Ventures Analysis Inc., Arlington, Va., spoke to the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals during a hearing Wednesday night. He said the proposed 100-turbine wind farm in McLean and Woodford counties would be a detriment to the public because of noise levels and visibility.
Hewson said he did a “simple approach” simulation of one turbine to see how far a person had to be away from the turbine before it complied with Illinois’ noise regulations.
“At 750 feet away, it exceeded the range,” he said, noting that three property owners have asked for waivers to allow a turbine in about that range.
Hewson said it wasn’t until a person was 1,200 feet away from the turbine that the noise met Illinois’ requirements.
An interview with Royer for The Courier-News about the meeting that had been set for Monday afternoon was cancelled Monday morning. Carol Gieske, president of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, said, "It was a closed meeting, so he is unable to discuss what transpired."
Invenergy representatives got a chance Tuesday to talk about the company and tell why they want to build a 100-turbine wind farm in McLean and Woodford counties.
They spoke at the first in a series of public hearings before the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals.
Meanwhile, Melissa McGrath, an attorney representing several opponents of the project, questioned a McLean County Building and Zoning Department recommendation for the wind farm.
Wind turbine towers on lots less than one acre can be no taller than the height of the home, plus 10 percent. The tallest allowed is 125 feet, and those only on lots of five acres or more. None can be located in the front yard.
Any votes to move forward a contentious zoning issue involving a wind farm development in Woodford and McLean counties are postponed until early next year.
With a 14-0 vote Tuesday, the Woodford County Board opted to send a Zoning Board of Appeals recommendation allowing a special use permit for the development of up to 20 turbines near Carlock back to that board for a rehearing.
The move comes about two months after the county’s ZBA approved the permit amid criticism that they violated the state’s Open Meetings Act.
“The blade diameter will be 286 feet wide. That’s like having a football field suspended 256 feet in the air spinning.”
Michael King and Carol Johnson believe that spinning wind turbine could be a health hazard and will drastically change the landscape of Stephenson County for the worst, so they decided to construct a scale model.
“So that we could see and our neighbors could see how big these things are going to be in relation to something everyone in the area recognizes.”
A public hearing on a special-use permit to allow a 100-turbine wind farm on 12,000 acres of farmland in McLean and Woodford counties has been moved to mid-January.
The McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals voted Tuesday night to extend the hearings after listening to pleas from several residents who live in the proposed area. Those residents said they only recently learned of the plans for the White Oak Wind Energy Center proposed by Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC.
Two developers will have to share the winds surrounding a Bureau County wind farm, as the County Board on Tuesday approved building permits for a $100 million project.
The board unanimously approved 42 conditional use permits for Chicago-based Midwest Wind Energy’s Crescent Ridge II project, a 75-megawatt wind farm to be built to the northwest and south of the original Crescent Ridge wind farm in rural Tiskilwa. The farms are all along the Crescent Ridge.
The project received little opposition from landowners near the proposed project, but did receive some negative remarks from the developers of Eurus Crescent Ridge II LLC, which has already received permits for its 64-megawatt wind farm in the same area.
UREKA - Woodford County's zoning department received a $70,000 check Monday for the future development of a 83-turbine wind farm near Benson.
County Administrator Gregory Jackson said the check came via mail with an application from Minneapolis-based Navatis Energy, the developers of the wind farm.
"Wow, these are big," the Yorkville Republican said as he looked at the turbine equipment during a ground-breaking ceremony for the GSG (God's Sustaining Gifts) wind farm.
Seventeen of the approximately 70 people attending the three-hour session spoke to the Livingston County Zoning Board of Appeals, which is holding the hearing and will make a recommendation to the Livingston County Board on the special use permit needed for a wind farm under county zoning. ...The first person presenting evidence Monday, Judy Campbell, of Manville, and a candidate for the Livingston County Board, cited "cumulative" negative impacts of the proposed wind farm, on people, agriculture and the rural character of the county. She said wind energy has an "uncertain future" and that the Cayuga Ridge project was not consistent in all respects with the county's comprehensive plan.
The winds of approval blew east Tuesday as the Lee County Board sanctioned 18 potential wind turbines, leaving DeKalb County the last word on the project's remaining 132 turbines.
If DeKalb County gives its OK, the turbines will be built in Alto and Willow Creek townships in Lee County's northeastern corner.
NextEra Energy Resources, the company leading the project, said the turbines would be erected this summer, with a targeted completion date in December.
Two of three townships in Vermilion County where the Hoopeston wind project is being planned have agreed to waive their zoning process and allow the county to regulate the planned development.
Tonight, the Vermilion County Board will consider agreements with Ross and Grant townships in northern Vermilion County that will spell out the township boards' understanding that the county will oversee the siting of the turbines.
A 233-wind turbine project in eastern La Salle County is nearing the final stages of land acquisition and still is on pace to begin construction in April 2007.
Horizon Wind Energy has proposed a new wind farm in the same areas of Livingston and LaSalle counties already under consideration by another developer. ..."This is not unique and this is an issue that is popping up all over the country as good sites become scarcer," Whitlock said. "There is no question that it is possible that turbines from two companies can be on the same land, but it is a bigger issue for the developers than it is for the landowners or the county."
BENSON -- A $200 million wind farm is set to bring 80 enormous turbines to the fields near Benson, where not everyone is a fan.