Member Carolyn Gerwin asked the zoning board to consider "what's good for the county as a whole" and said it was uncertain if the federal tax credit for wind energy will be extended. "This industry is not profitable without these massive subsidies," she said.
Gerwin also contended that the 155 turbines planned, and scattered across 15,000 acres, will limit a new, countywide economic development organization's ability "to plan and have options" to attract business developers.
She also referred to studies made for Iberdrola's predecessor PPM Energy, "that reach the right answers," said the farm would not create "a lot of new jobs" compared to communities 30 miles from the county along Interstate 55, and asked that a decommissioning plan for the towers be "in a legally enforceable format from a company that has resources."
Officials with a proposed wind farm won't find out if the project is getting a green light from Tazewell County officials until June, and yet another hearing has been scheduled for community input.
In Logan County, where 29 wind turbines are targeted for construction, the project's itinerary of public hearings and red tape is back to square one because of a legal snafu.
The Rail Splitter Wind Farm proposed by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC needs the final approval of the Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals, but the board has rescheduled its deliberations until possibly June 4 or June 5.
An overflow crowd that violated the meeting room's fire-code occupancy limit kept the Woodford County Board on Tuesday from considering the El Paso wind farm project.
The meeting was scheduled for 6:30 p.m., but the room's 128-person capacity was met shortly after 6 and Sheriff Jim Pierceall began stopping people at the door. As many as 40 people were denied entrance.
Many, but not all, wore buttons opposing the proposed 40-turbine development by Minneapolis-based Navitas that has been stalled for lack of a road maintenance agreement between township road commissioners and the company.
Iberdrola Renewables continued on Tuesday to say its proposed wind farm project offered the "right time, right team and right place" to benefit Livingston County, but residents still seem divided on the issue. ...Livingston County Board member Carolyn Gerwin said the wind farm could hinder future development because developers might be limited to where they can establish facilities.
Others said they did not want to see neighbors move away because they were disturbed by the turbines.
"You might gain 25 employees, but how many people will leave," Melinda Cusack of Blackstone said.
Board Chairman John Krug called the Tuesday evening meeting to order about a half an hour late after he, State's Attorney Michael Stroh and other county officials tried in vain to find an alternate location that could accommodate the overflowing crowd.
Shortly after the meeting's roll call, Stroh told the packed group the meeting was postponed until 6:30 p.m. May 29. The exact location, still undetermined Tuesday night, will be announced soon through the local media, he added.
"As you all can see tonight, we got a lot of people in the room and we have a couple issues in regards to that with the law," he said before the standing-room-only group.
Resolution 67 - asking the Woodford County Board to grant a special use permit for a 40-turbine wind farm development near El Paso - has prompted a board tug-of-war, as some members clamor to keep the controversial project on the agenda and others want it taken off. The back-and-forth has led to four separate agendas for tonight's meeting being sent out to board members or posted for public viewing. ...More than a few people are now confused as to the future of the resolution and of the proposed wind project, which would sit on nearly 3,000 acres between El Paso and Secor and straddle U.S. Route 24.
"I don't know what the situation is," said board member Larry Whitaker, who has led the charge to put the project on the agenda. "We'll just have to see how this thing plays out."
The developers of a proposed wind farm in northern Logan and Tazewell Counties have pulled their application for a special use permit, but say the project will still go forward.
Bill Whitlock is the project development manager for the proposed Rail Splitter Wind Farm. Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy is the developer for the project.
"We're going to cancel the application and refile it in June," Whitlock said. "We just want to make sure we have everything in order."
The Will County Board has approved rules for devices that convert the power of wind into electrical energy.
Residents in unincorporated Will County have expressed interest in using these devices on their property to reduce energy costs, according to the resolution that the board passed Thursday.
The new ordinance allows small wind devices in some residential areas, with a minimum lot size, and keeps neighbors' well-being in mind, said Jim Bilotta, R-Lockport, chairman of the county board's land use committee.
"Everybody wants alternative means of energy," said board member Jim Bilotta. "The key was putting something together that protects the neighborhood."
The ordinance restricts wind turbines to county residential or commercial properties at least an acre in size. Noise levels cannot exceed 60 decibels, about as loud as a typical conversation between co-workers at neighboring desks.
Roof-mounted turbines cannot be taller than 15 feet above the home, while the height of backyard turbines can vary with the size of the property.
Experts testified Thursday on behalf of a proposed wind farm, but a decision on whether or not the project gets county approval won't happen until the end of the month.
The Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals has been holding public hearings since April 1, getting public input on the proposed Rail Splitter Wind Farm by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC.
Horizon presented a real estate appraiser and an expert on noise pollution, both of whom told the board the 67-tower project would have no negative effect on property values or quality of life.
"They would not be injurious or have any negative impact on the area," said Greg Zak, a noise pollution expert from Springfield.
Tazewell County's zoning board of appeals sat through another long night of testimony Thursday night, giving one Delavan resident a chance to fight the erection of a proposed wind power plant.
At Thursday night's hearing, two experts answered a thorough line of questioning and cross examination from lawyers, ZBA members, Tazewell County Board members and the public. ...
The ZBA plans to deliberate May 27, at which time members will decide whether or not to recommend to the county board that Horizon be approved to build the wind power plant.
Apparently trying to avoid a legal battle down the road, the developer of a proposed wind farm has temporarily pulled its application for a special use permit in northern Logan County after failing to properly notify residents of wind towers that would be near their property. ...Rockford attorney Rick Porter, representing a group of residents who oppose the wind farm, last week filed a motion against Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC, saying the company did not properly notify all residents it was supposed to as required by state statute.
A proposed wind farm has temporarily pulled its application for special use permits in Logan County after failing to properly notify residents of wind towers that would be near their property. ...Rockford attorney Rick Porter represents a group of residents who oppose the wind farm and filed a motion against Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC, saying the company did not properly notify all residents it was supposed to as required by state statute.
"Notice was only sent to people within a quarter-mile" of proposed towers, Porter said.
Tuesday's session of the hearing by the Zoning Board of Appeals marked the end of about a dozen hours of testimony, evidence, opinion, and questions-and-answers presented to that board about the first wind farm proposed for Livingston County, an up-to 155-turbine Cayuga Ridge South Wind Farm. The towers would be on 15,000 acres east of Interstate 55 and between Odell and Emington. ...Ewing's testimony was followed by an Ellsworth-area resident who lives near the in-operation Twin Groves wind farm.
"Living with turbines has caused us to change many things in the way we live," including closing windows and relying on air conditioning in the summer, Rene Taylor said. She also said the turbines near her created "excessive noise" last winter and when wind speed exceeded 25 mph the turbines "sound roaring like a train" across her property.
Another Woodford County Board committee voted Tuesday to bring the issue of the El Paso wind farm before the full board May 20.
Board member Larry Whitaker lead the effort despite the issue not being on the formal agenda and the fact that he was stripped of membership on the committee last week by board Chairman John Krug.
The conservation, planning, and zoning committee voted 3-2 to recommend that the full board put the issue on the agenda for "consideration."
A continuation of a public hearing into the proposed Rail Splitter Wind Farm set for tonight at Hartsburg has suddenly been canceled.
Horizon Wind Energy, the Houston company behind the proposal, has officially withdrawn its application for a conditional use permit from consideration before the Logan County Board.
"We received yesterday a withdrawal from the applicant," Logan County zoning officer Will D'Andrea said this morning. "They have officially withdrawn. They are going to research the issues regarding insufficient notification (about holding the hearings) and try to remedy those and then come back."
The Putnam County Board heard an update Monday night on a Kansas company's plans to develop a large wind energy project to be called Riverbend Farms over about the next three years.
Trade Wind Energy, based in a Kansas City suburb, anticipates installation of about 96 1.5-megawatt turbines along "a very subtle ridge" that runs southeasterly from Mark and extends across Interstate 39 and into neighboring LaSalle County, development manager Duane Enger told the board.
For the second time in less than one week, a Woodford County committee has voted to send a controversial wind farm development before the full County Board after the project has sat in limbo for nearly one year.
On Tuesday, the county's Conservation, Planning and Zoning Committee recommended by a vote of 3-2 that the proposed El Paso wind farm be placed on the agenda for consideration at its May 20 meeting. The motion was put forth by board member Larry Whitaker who, along with Gary Jones and Committee Chairman James Finke, voted in favor of it. Opposed were board members Thomas Evans and Thomas Karr.
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.
With northern Logan County embroiled in a controversy over a plan that would dot the rural landscape with 400-foot-tall wind turbines, a new government report is predicting that in two decades, Americans could get as much electricity from windmills as from nuclear power plants. ...If achieved, it would be an astounding leap.
Wind energy today accounts for only about 1 percent of the nation's electricity, although the industry has been on a growth binge with a 45 percent jump in production last year. ...But the report cautioned that its findings were not meant to predict that such growth would, in fact, be achieved, but only that it is technically possible.