Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
Industrial Wind Action Group, a nationally based grass-roots effort, claims companies are exaggerating the amount of megawatts wind farm projects can produce by giving maximum output figures instead of more concise estimates.
CONGERVILLE -- The fate of the the White Oak Wind Energy Center now is in the hands of the Woodford County Board. The Woodford County Zoning Board of Appeals voted 4-0 after two days of testimony to recommend a special-use permit for the wind farm. However, the recommendation to the County Board did come with several conditions. Chicago-based Invenergy Wind is seeking approval to build 100 turbines on scattered sites near the McLean-Woodford county line. Construction on the project, which would cost more than $200 million, is slated for spring 2007. The zoning board expects the company to obtain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and complete a historical and archaeological impact study. The company also will be required to issue a letter of credit for $59,000 per turbine to ensure the decommissioning of the wind farm.
The Bloomington-based John Wesley Powell chapter of the National Audubon Society wants Invenergy LCC to do a little more bird watching. On Wednesday, Angelo Capparella, the chapter’s conservation chairman and a bird expert at Illinois State University, asked Woodford County zoning officials to require the wind farm company to redo a study of the potential impact its turbines might have on birds. Capparella plans to repeat the request when McLean County officials discuss the company’s plan next month.
CONGERVILLE -- A hearing on the White Oaks Wind Energy Center was held over until tonight because so many people turned out Wednesday to offer their opinions. After four hours of testimony and questions, Woodford County Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Bob Harbers said the meeting would be continued until 6 p.m. today at the Congerville Elementary School. About 65 people attended the hearing on Wednesday. Of 36 individuals registered to make comments, only about half had an opportunity to speak by 10 p.m. The vast majority of speakers voiced concerns over a proposed 100-turbine wind farm’s effects on birds and wildlife, drainage, roads and property values.
On the heels of new case law being handed down by the Illinois Supreme Court, Stephenson County officials will now be conducting zoning hearings for larger special-use permit requests - such as for the proposed wind farms - in a more formal fashion, so the hearings will more resemble a court proceeding, officials say. “The Supreme Court has indicated that special-use zoning hearings are quasi-judicial, fact-based hearings,” said county Special Assistant State’s Attorney Frank Cook. “The procedures are going to be a little more formalized than they have been in the past. … I think it’s going to be a pretty beneficial change.”
STEPHENSON COUNTY -- More wind turbines may soon pop up across the stateline if Stephenson County board members approve two special-use zoning permits. Two firms hope to build wind farms in the county and both could generate significant revenue. Stephenson County Board members have waited nearly three years to see the wind farm proposals actually mapped out. Now, it's only a matter of voting on them.
Two firms proposing power-generating wind farms for Stephenson County have applied for special-use zoning permits, and public hearings for both projects have been scheduled for next month. If the two proposals win county approval, as many as 100 wind turbines capable of generating 170 megawatts of clean electricity could soon be added to the local rural landscape. Terry Groves, director of planning and zoning for the county, said it is welcome news for county officials, who have waited for the wind farm projects to come to fruition for at least two years. County Board Vice Chairman Jim Graham said these wind farm projects - along with the proposed Blackhawk Biofuels biodiesel project, and the Adkins Energy ethanol plant - show the county is becoming an “alternative energy” corridor.
EUREKA -- The Woodford County Board voted 12-0 to approve a road repair agreement and special use permits for a $260 million wind farm, and might use eminent domain to force townships to follow suit.
Woodford County officials will look at whether any government or legal options can be made to ensure a $260 million wind farm northeast of Benson actually happens. Woodford County Administrator Gregory Jackson will examine whether the county can proceed with annexing township roads or if the county can forcibly seize them through eminent domain. The County Board requested Tuesday that Jackson look into what alternatives exist amid problems between three townships and the project’s developer, Navitas Energy, over a road agreement.
BENSON (AP) -- A plan to bring a 79-turbine wind farm to central Illinois has hit a roadblock over accident liability issues. Three Woodford County townships -- Greene, Panola and Clayton -- have rejected a proposal from Navitas Energy.
The village president of Carlock said a company’s plans to build a nearby wind farm are at odds with village plans to grow. Invenergy Inc. wants to build about 25 turbines in the land surrounding Carlock, but the village has been working on an expansion plan in the area for the last three years. The village would like to buy and develop land in the same location where the turbines are planned to go.
A report by the Department of Defense on where wind farms can be located does not go far enough and leaves future projects up to military approval, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Monday.
A wind-farm developer is scouting for new land as negotiations with three Woodford County townships seemingly failed. Unable to agree on accident liability issues, Greene, Panola and Clayton townships rejected a proposal Saturday from Minneapolis-based Navitas Energy, which wants to build a 79-turbine, $260 million wind farm near Benson. The townships did approve a contract on Saturday but not the exact contract Navitas drafted, and that was the company’s final proposal, said project developer Wanda Davies.
Details continue to hold up a $260 million wind farm project in Woodford County, where three township boards are squabbling over particulars of legal responsibility with project developers. The boards of Panola, Greene and Clayton townships, in a special session Saturday, approved a road agreement that they now will present to wind farm developer Navitas Energy. While representatives from Navitas had not yet looked over the agreement, based on remarks by townships attorney Sheryl Kuzma at the meeting, it appears the pact holds a number of provisions that Navitas likely will reject.
A multimillion-dollar wind farm in Woodford County is in limbo, again. A road agreement set to be approved today by three township boards is not going to be endorsed by the company in charge of developing the wind farm. “There is no agreement,” Woodford County Administrator Gregory Jackson said Friday. “(The township’s agreement) means absolutely nothing.”
Supporters of a multimillion-dollar wind farm are pleased over what could be the end of a road agreement deadlock between three Woodford County townships and the project’s developers. While details of the agreement were not released Thursday, attorney Sheryl Kuzma - who represents Panola, Greene and Clayton townships - said a meeting was scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday to act on the agreement. The meeting will be held at the Panola Township Hall building at 720 20th St., Panola.
Plans for a Woodford County wind farm may have hit a pothole. According to a spokesperson for the windfarm developer, Navitas Energy, the company is planning to reject a road agreement from Panola, Green and Clayton townships. Navitas said the disagreement is over who is responsible if there there is a lawsuit.
The director of a company that wants to build a wind farm in Henry County told residents Thursday “our intent is to be a good neighbor for the next 30 years.” Residents came to an informal meeting at the Geneseo Community Center for information on CPV Inc. and its plans for about 200 wind towers in Henry County. The CPV Wind Spring Creek project would place 135 towers between Cambridge and Geneseo and would cost about $270 million, director Peter Pawlowski said. The project has already secured 10,000 acres of land for the towers through leases with landowners.
The Henry County Board Tuesday approved 266 special use permits for Invenergy’s wind farm on an 18-0 voice vote Tuesday. The Chicago-based firm would locate the turbines on farmland in six townships from Galva to Woodhull. Board members noted that permits for the second of three wind farms — 135 permits for CPV (Commercial Power Ventures) — are set to be on the Nov. 14 agenda.
Resistance to a wind farm project from the village of Carlock might move it out of Woodford County. The village of Carlock has filed a letter of protest with both McLean and Woodford county zoning offices, requesting a wind turbine not be placed within 1½ miles of the village limits. The village claims the turbines will have a negative impact on property values and also hamper the village’s future growth.