Library from Illinois
Hancock County Board member Tom Scheetz said EcoEnergy is no longer pursuing a wind farm project in the county. The official reason was the county is in a goose flyway. Two other wind farm projects in Adams and McDonough counties are moving forward. The wind test tower at Scheetz's farm was taken down Aug. 6. The tower collected wind information for the past three years.
There are four major issues with which landowners should be comfortable before agreeing to allow a wind farm project on their property. The first two involve the land to be given over to the wind energy company, and exactly what the company will do on the land. Third is the terms of the agreement, or contract, between the landowner and wind energy company. Fourth is the rent the landowner will receive for the part of his property the wind farm occupies.
A wind farm is breaking ground this summer at the home of Bureau County Farm Bureau President Rob Sharkey. "They wanted to bring them in several years earlier, but there was just a tremendous amount of opposition," noted Sharkey, who along with his duties as head of the organization, rents the farmland where a number of the wind turbines are going.
Every summer, DeKalb County goes green with fields of crops ripening for the harvest. However, this summer the county began going green in a very different way. NextEra Energy Resources, out of Juno Beach, Fla., broke ground in Afton Township after July 4, said Anthony Pedroni, the project manager for DeKalb County's wind farm project. If the construction time line goes according to plan, the project should be fully operational on Dec. 31, Pedroni said.
Champaign City Council members were unanimous Tuesday in wanting to encourage development of wind turbines as an alternative, sustainable energy source. By a vote of 9-0, the council directed city staff to develop an ordinance to allow wind energy conversion systems in the city. Council members expressed strong opposition, though, to any suggestion that large wind turbines would be outright prohibited within their 1.5-mile extra-terratorial jurisdiction.
City council members in Champaign will talk Tuesday about wind power - not the hot-air-politics type, but the wind turbine type. ...the city planning staff will discuss wind energy conservation systems, particularly small wind turbines within city limits and how to regulate wind farms near city boundaries. City Planner Bruce Knight said state law requires cities to regulate wind turbines within 1½ miles of their city limits. The Champaign County Board has adopted a wind farm ordinance, he said.
The deadline for the special-use permit for development of a 36-turbine wind farm near El Paso expired Tuesday. Last month, in an 8-6 vote, the Woodford County Board denied Pattern Energy's request to extend the special-use permit for the El Paso Wind Farm until Dec. 31, 2010. The company said it needed the extension because of poor economic conditions. County zoning director John Hamann said that in a phone call Tuesday, a representative of Pattern Energy said the company would not be able to pull the project off.
The expiration of a special use permit for the El Paso wind farm has left holders of tower leases in limbo and expressing mixed reaction to the project's uncertainty. Larry Roth of Eureka, who has a tower on his property near El Paso, blamed the Woodford County Board for not granting an extension requested by Pattern Energy, which now owns the project initiated by Navitas Energy.
A policy that would place a temporary ban on new wind-energy projects in the county has been taken off the table indefinitely. Under the advice of the state's attorney, the DeKalb County Board agreed to stay mum on the proposed period of assessment on new and existing wind farms, Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman Ken Andersen said. "We're not prepared to comment on it," Andersen said after the meeting.
The special use permit for the El Paso wind farm expired Tuesday without the owners applying for building permits. Navitas Energy of Minneapolis had paid $40,000 for an application fee and had received approval a year ago for a special use permit after a lengthy and controversial hearing process.
The request by a group of residents upset over a wind turbine they say impacts the quality of their lives was granted at the Libertyville Village Board's last meeting when a moratorium relating to the construction, installation and operation of wind turbines was approved. The 180-day moratorium was approved in conjunction with a referral from the board to the Plan Commission to review possible amendments to the zoning code pertaining to wind turbines.
A public hearing on Winnebago County's first foray into the siting of wind farms - which ran more than five hours Monday night - will continue tonight at Veteran's Memorial Hall. At issue is the creation of an ordinance that lays out what the county would require of corporations and developers that want to build wind farms in the area. Under consideration, at the moment, is a proposal by Navitas Energy Corp.
A unanimous vote Tuesday by the county's Zoning Board of Appeals brings a wind farm one step closer to reality in southwestern Winnebago County. The final vote came after more than nine hours of testimony at a public hearing spread over two nights in the Lincoln Lyceum of Veterans Memorial Hall. The vote was on a 16-page ordinance drafted by Navitas Energy.
Some farmers who signed contracts with Navitas Energy for a wind tower have become disillusioned with the project near El Paso. "If I had it to do all over again today, I wouldn't sign the contract," John DeLaney, who farms southwest of El Paso, told the Woodford County Conservation, Planning and Zoning Committee Tuesday. "I'm really getting the feeling that we've been taken advantage of," he said.
District 300 would shoulder 80 percent of the costs - as well as potential benefits and decision-making - associated with the consortium that would build wind turbines to generate the electricity. Dave Ulm, the district's energy coordinator, said the entire project is estimated to cost between $46 million and $50 million.
The lone wind turbine in Libertyville has riled neighbors and created enough negative energy that the village board decided to put the brakes on any plans for new ones. While applications can be made, no building permits or zoning certificates for additional turbines will be issued for six months, the village board unanimously decided Tuesday.
A Kane County judge has assigned himself to a case in which a citizen's group is trying to halt construction of a wind farm in southwestern DeKalb County. But no firm date has been set for arguments in the case. Citizens for Open Government wants a judge to issue a temporary restraining order to stop work on the wind farm project.
Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville addressed the Village Board at its last meeting over their concerns about a wind turbine operating near their residences. Dave Gates, a member of Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville, said the group is upset over a 120-foot wind turbine located at Aldridge Electric, 844 E. Rockland Road, within 250-feet of their homes.
A settlement agreement has been reached in the lawsuit filed to halt a $120 million wind farm project between Freeport and Dakota, and construction on the farm may begin as soon as 2011, said company officials. "By this late time, it would be difficult to build in 2010, because of the long lead time for ordering equipment," said Wanda Davies, director of development for the Midwest region for Gamesa Energy.
Navitas Energy has been dotting the northwestern Illinois landscape with wind turbines for six years. Now the company is looking to make a southwestern section of Winnebago County part of its next wind farm project. Problem is, until Navitas came knocking, county government never had a reason to figure out where wind farms should go, what they should look like or what restrictions should be placed on them.