Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
The winds may maybe changing on some multi-million dollar wind farm developments in the area. There’s concern in Carlock that wind turbines being too close to town will cut off future growth.
Mitch Fever moved to his house on 2250 North Road in rural Carlock about 10 years ago in part because of the rural setting. On Wednesday he attended an open house sponsored by Invenergy Wind LLC to see if that atmosphere would be changed by a 100-turbine wind farm proposed on 12,000 acres of farmland in McLean and Woodford counties.
There is an ill wind blowing through the farm fields of central Illinois this harvest season, and it has nothing to do with the typical bad-weather woes discussed by many farmers. At least three multimillion-dollar wind farm projects are in jeopardy if various government squabbles with their developers are not resolved. The latest comes in Woodford and McLean counties after the village of Carlock recently submitted formal protests to both counties’ zoning offices against a $200 million, 100-turbine project north of the village limits.
It might not be in perfect harmony, but a proposed wind farm and a planned lakeside subdivision hope to coexist together in Livingston County. Plans to ban wind turbines within 1.5 miles of Chatsworth city limits with not stop Chicago-based Invenergy Wind from erecting the Pleasant Ridge Wind Farm nearby, a company representative said Tuesday. Meanwhile, developers of a 900-acre lakeside subdivision in Chatsworth also expect to move forward, despite concerns that the wind farm could make the land a tough sell.
Political maneuvers could pull the plug on two Central Illinois wind farms, one in Livingston County and the other in Woodford County. In Livingston County, Chatsworth officials agreed in principle to adopt an ordinance banning wind farm turbines within a mile-and-a-half of city limits, said town President Richard Pearson. The concern is a proposed wind farm by Chicago-based Invenergy Wind which could disrupt the scenic views of a planned 900-acre lakeside subdivision called Oliver’s Crossing, he said. “Nobody wants to live next to a 400-foot windmill that I know of,” Pearson said. “We prefer to keep them away from the city limits.” In Woodford County, meanwhile, squabbles over road repairs could disrupt the development of a 79-turbine, 160-megawatt, $260 million wind farm near Benson.
A road agreement between three Woodford County townships and the developers of a multimillion-dollar wind farm comes down to a few “tweaks,” the attorney representing the townships said Monday. But when those various tweaks will be worked out still is unknown, leaving many rural residents, school districts, county officials and others with a stake in the approximately $260 million Benson Wind Farm concerned that the entire project might be in jeopardy.
The focus will shift back to the Springfield City Council in the city’s power plant saga following Friday’s dismissal by the U.S. Environmental Appeals Board of developer David Maulding’s appeal of City Water, Light and Power’s permit to build a new generator. Aldermen on the utilities committee will consider three ordinances Wednesday that would essentially re-enact the original deal the city made with the Sierra Club to forego its objections to the permit and make CWLP more environmentally friendly. The difference is that the ordinances call for no binding contract with the Sierra Club.
A multi-million dollar wind farm development in rural Woodford County is in jeopardy, the county’s administrator said Friday. “We’re as close as we have been to this thing not happening,” Administrator Gregory Jackson said of the proposed 79-turbine, $260 million facility northeast of Benson. If it is completed, it could be the largest economic development ever for Woodford County. The County Board will vote Oct. 17 whether to issue a special use permit allowing the company to build. Greene, Panola and Clayton township government bodies, with their attorney, Sheryl Kuzma, are negotiating a road agreement with the wind farm’s developer, Navitas Energy of Minneapolis, Minn. The townships say a road agreement is needed because the company will be hauling large truck loads of turbine components on rural roads.
Concerns about lost tax revenue raised by some Stark County residents A proposal to annex a 112-tower wind farm project in Stark and Marshall counties into an enterprise zone met with no opposition Wednesday at a public hearing in Lacon, although some concerns about lost tax revenue surfaced at a hearing in Toulon. A developer, however, said lost taxes won’t be an issue. California-based wind energy company Orion Energy LLC is proposing the wind farm in the Camp Grove area near the Marshall-Stark County line. The company wants the project included in the Marshall County Enterprise Zone. If the project is included in the zone, it would receive exemption from sales taxes on materials bought in Illinois for the construction of the towers. But some Stark County residents are concerned about losing that revenue.
A large wind farm that would straddle the Marshall-Stark County line would be placed in an enterprise zone to get sales tax benefits for the developers under a proposal to be discussed at public hearings this week. At issue in the hearings, set for 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Stark County Courthouse and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Marshall County Courthouse, will be whether the 112-turbine, 200-megawatt wind energy installation planned for the Camp Grove area by California-based Orion Energy LLC should be annexed into the existing Marshall County Enterprise Zone, even though more than a third of the property is in neighboring Stark County.
Three things must happen before the Sierra Club will withdraw its appeal of City Water, Light and Power's construction permit for its new power plant, representatives of the environmental group told the Springfield City Council's utilities committee Wednesday
Even before the Henry County Board votes on some 268 special use permits for wind turbines from rural Galva to Woodhull, Invenergy is planning another public hearing this fall, because 20 to 30 more landowners are interested in having potential turbine sites. Based solely on the amount of land under easement in each school district, Invenergy may have 141 turbines in the Galva school district, 85 in AlWood, 29 in Cambridge and 13 in ROWVA, according to preliminary figures released by Henry County supervisor of assessments Lindi Kernan. The configuration of the wind farm may change. The company is planning to pinpoint turbine locations by working with landowners once the crop is out of the fields.
CONGERVILLE - A majority of a 100-turbine wind farm northwest of Bloomington will be built in McLean County. But up to 20 turbines could be constructed in Kansas Township in Woodford County, located about four miles east of Congerville and three miles north of Carlock
One of the largest developments to ever hit Woodford County is one step closer to reality. By a 5-0 vote Wednesday, the Woodford County Zoning Board of Appeals endorsed a special-use permit allowing the developers of a 79-turbine wind farm to construct their approximately $260 million facility on more than 4,800 acres of farmland northeast of Benson. All that remains for the project’s final go-ahead is approval from the County Board. That board is expected to vote on the permit during its Oct. 17 meeting.
Horizon Wind Energy may expand the Twin Groves Wind Farm in eastern McLean County. Workers began erecting the first towers of the 240-turbine wind farm over the weekend. Twin Groves should be partially operational at the end of the year with 120 turbines complete. Workers will then begin the second phase of construction on the other 120 turbines. “We’re looking at a possible third phase, too,” said project manager Bill Whitlock, of Horizon. “We’d have to talk to landowners and go back to the county for permits.” Whitlock didn’t have an exact location or know how many turbines a third phase would add. He said the addition would be “significantly” smaller than the other 120-turbine phases.
CAMBRIDGE - The Henry County planning committee on Monday unanimously ruled that Invenergy's 266-permit application for a wind energy farm is consistent with the county's comprehensive plan. The firm has signed up 168 landowners with a total of 377 parcels in their project area stretching from rural Galva to rural Woodhull.
The wind energy proposal would create significant tax revenue for the district. "Eighty-five turbines in the district, with each turbine generating $16,000 in new tax dollars, would be $800,000 to $1 million for the district," he said. "This is huge, with the latest tax dollars would be realized estimated in 2010. Farmers would receive $4,000 to $5,000 for each turbine in a 25-year lease agreement."
A 266-tower wind farm is one step closer to becoming a reality, but some Bishop Hill residents say the project will hurt their historical town. The Henry County Zoning Board of Appeals voted Wednesday to recommend to the Henry County Board that wind energy company Invenergy, Inc. receive conditional use permits for the towers. The company is one of three proposing to locate towers in the area but some residents in Bishop Hill, a historical Swedish settlement from the 1800s that features preserved buildings from that time, oppose the plan.
CAMBRIDGE — The Henry County planning committee Monday night unanimously ruled Invenergy’s 266-permit application for a wind energy farm consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan. The firm has signed up 168 landowners with a total of 377 parcels in their project area, stretching from rural Galva to rural Woodhull.
BISHOP HILL — Invenergy LLC’s project application includes some basics about the project. Bishop Hill Energy has 35-year easement agreements and wind rights for a 400-megawatt project on 378 land parcels in several townships stretching roughly between Galva and Woodhull. Each wind turbine has a 262-foot hub height and 253- to 272-foot rotor diameter, secured by a concrete foundation that can vary in design depending on soil conditions.