Library filed under General from Illinois
Mechanic liens now totaling $2.1 million, as of Feb. 15, have been filed against the property of landowners in Vermillion, Illinois, who signed lease contracts for the wind factory that APEX built there.
The United Citizens of Livingston County, opposed to Invenergy’s Pleasant Ridge turbine plans, called upon several witnesses to give their opinions, and each detailed a different way as to how the project would negatively impact the community at a meeting hosted by the Livingston Zoning Board of Appeals Monday night at Pontiac Township High School.
“This slick New York lawyer had an answer for everything, but when I asked him and his other friends if they would raise their families under the turbines, they were silent,” he said. “I have a hard time believing a guy selling this product and doesn't believe in it, and we want to hitch our future to him?”
In a 6-6 vote Wednesday, the Logan County Board rejected a conditional use permit that would have brought a 7,600-acre wind farm to a stretch of land between Mount Pulaski, Broadwell, Lake Fork and Elkhart. ...there was a great deal of opposition from people living within the proposed quarter-mile footprint of the 80-turbine wind farm.
Several other changes may be considered by the board in the future, including changes to the current zoning regulations that would allow for a guarantee from the wind farm company that property values wouldn't decrease because of a new wind farm. The county also may consider a moratorium on wind farm projects until the ordinances can be updated.
The winds across the northern plains of Macon County have have continued to flow uninterrupted by any wind turbines. That was not meant to be the case, as county officials moved quickly last year to set the groundwork to build upward of 118 wind turbines across the northern part of the county near Maroa, with a plan that turbines could begin to dot the landscape as early as this fall.
Linda Ambrose, one of the organizers, said the purpose of the meeting is to get information to the public about the dangers of wind farms. "Wind farms have changed in the last few years and we want to get the word out to the public that we are opposed to this," she said.
Vermilion County officials don't plan to consider a moratorium on applications for wind-farm permits while a committee reviews rules regulating wind turbines. "We feel we don't have the legal ability to do that. In essence, that's zoning. From a legal standpoint, we don't feel we can issue a moratorium."
A special use permit for a 100-tower wind farm in Otter Creek and Allen townships in LaSalle County has expired, although a buyer for the project is still being sought.
Last week, Invenergy, an energy development company based in Chicago, submitted a special-use permit application to the county. The Zoning Board of Appeals will review it and could send it to the County Board this fall.
Iberdrola's failure to launch could be one indicator wind farm construction has stalled in the county in recent years. Last year, Iberdrola spokesman Paul Copleman told The Times the company was having trouble finding a buyer for the project.
After several months of consideration, the Bureau County Board has made its decision on how to handle decommissioning funds for the Big Sky wind farm near Ohio. At Tuesday’s meeting, the county board voted 16 to 5 to approve a $2 million letter credit to the Big Sky wind farm.
Last month, Gerdes shared a study on decommissioning costs that a Virginia-based company did at the request of his group. According to the study, it would cost about $19.4 million to take down the 87 turbines, about $224,000 each. At that rate, the cost to decommission Big Sky could be in the $10 million to $12 million range.
At last month’s county board meeting, Gerdes shared an in-depth study his group had done by a Virginia-based company on decommissioning costs. As previously reported in the BCR, the study revealed the total cost to take down 87 turbines was just over $19.4 million, or about $224,000 per turbine. At that rate, the cost to decommission Big Sky could potentially be in the $10-12 million range.
“I don’t think the taxpayers should have to pay for taking those down. The other problem we have is that when landowners signed these leases with these companies they were promised that if this doesn’t work they’ll come back and take the turbine down.
The Bureau County Board’s decision to go into negotiations followed a lengthy board discussion at Tuesday’s meeting, which also included comments from a concerned resident as well as comments from a representative of the new Big Sky owner, the Pittsburgh-based EverPower Wind Co. The new owner has asked the county board to agree to a letter of credit for the decommissioning plan, rather than keep the current cash-on-hand arrangement.
When the Big Sky wind farm started, it set aside money in escrow, in case the company abandoned the project and the county needed to take down the turbines. ...The account contains nearly $1.8 million. Now, the wind farm's prospective owner wants to do away with the escrow account and go with a letter of credit.
The Informed Farmers Coalition is targeting the Walnut Ridge and Green River wind farms, saying it wants to educate farmers before they consider new contracts with Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy.
The Informed Farmers Coalition (IFC), a group of Lee, Bureau and Whiteside county landowners and citizens, is working to spread awareness about wind turbine project development and the adverse effects it may have on these communities.
"The wind turbine industry is a joke in the United States," said Phil Hartke, who farms east of Teutopolis. Hartke said his son Ted Hartke and family have been adversely affected by a 495-foot-tall wind turbine about a quarter-mile from their rural Vermilion County home.