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Wind farm vote again postponed

The Woodford County Board on Tuesday again postponed voting on a special-use permit for the construction of the Minonk Wind Farm, but the chances for developer Gamesa Energy securing it look much more promising. Under the advice of State's Attorney Mike Stroh, the board decided to postpone action until he has had an opportunity to consult with the legal adviser for Livingston County, which also shares the same project.

EUREKA - The Woodford County Board on Tuesday again postponed voting on a special-use permit for the construction of the Minonk Wind Farm, but the chances for developer Gamesa Energy securing it look much more promising.

Under the advice of State's Attorney Mike Stroh, the board decided to postpone action until he has had an opportunity to consult with the legal adviser for Livingston County, which also shares the same project. Seventy-five turbines of the 100-turbine project would be in Woodford County, and the rest in Livingston County.

In a letter to the County Board on Tuesday, Stroh said, "It is my understanding they will not be ready to present the special use permit until at least February 2010."

Stroh said he would like to negotiate with Gamesa in partnership with Livingston County so that at least similar, if not equal, terms may be set.

"This will ensure, in my opinion, fair treatment of all parties involved in this project," Stroh wrote.

After the meeting, David Radin, project manager for Gamesa, did not voice any dissatisfaction. "We're still working to bring this project to fruition."

Right up until Tuesday, the state's attorney and some board members had said once... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

EUREKA - The Woodford County Board on Tuesday again postponed voting on a special-use permit for the construction of the Minonk Wind Farm, but the chances for developer Gamesa Energy securing it look much more promising.

Under the advice of State's Attorney Mike Stroh, the board decided to postpone action until he has had an opportunity to consult with the legal adviser for Livingston County, which also shares the same project. Seventy-five turbines of the 100-turbine project would be in Woodford County, and the rest in Livingston County.

In a letter to the County Board on Tuesday, Stroh said, "It is my understanding they will not be ready to present the special use permit until at least February 2010."

Stroh said he would like to negotiate with Gamesa in partnership with Livingston County so that at least similar, if not equal, terms may be set.

"This will ensure, in my opinion, fair treatment of all parties involved in this project," Stroh wrote.

After the meeting, David Radin, project manager for Gamesa, did not voice any dissatisfaction. "We're still working to bring this project to fruition."

Right up until Tuesday, the state's attorney and some board members had said once the road agreements were in place the project could proceed. Radin said he had successfully worked out agreements with the townships and only a final glitch remained to be smoothed out with the county.

"Over the weekend, they wanted a four-year letter of credit for any upgrades we make to the road if it turns out there is a construction problem," Radin said. "I don't have the authority to agree to it, but I don't think that would be a problem."

In addition, Radin explained that even after Gamesa secures a special use permit, it still has a long way to go before it can begin it can break ground on the project, which has a tentative start date of April 2011.

"First we have to get approval from Livingston County," Radin said in an earlier interview. "Then we have to get the special use permits to prove to ComEd that the project is real so it can make the upgrades to its facilities. "That's about 18 months."

Gamesa also has to find several organizations that will be willing to enter into a long-term contract with it to buy the power generated by the wind farm.

"This is the worst power market since World War II," Radin said. "The demand for power has actually gone down because of (the recession). Four years ago you would have to fight off people with a stick if you were selling power."


Source: http://www.pjstar.com/news/...

DEC 16 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/23650-wind-farm-vote-again-postponed
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