Articles from Illinois
An interview with Royer for The Courier-News about the meeting that had been set for Monday afternoon was cancelled Monday morning. Carol Gieske, president of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, said, "It was a closed meeting, so he is unable to discuss what transpired."
Michael Creech had planned to retire at the family homestead, a two-story farmhouse among square miles of farmland east of Hope in western Vermilion County. But he said he's changed his mind ...mostly because of the noise. There are three different noises, a whooshing sound from the blades turning, a droning noise that he compares to a jet engine, and noise from the motors when the turbines change position.
Once upon a time, getting approval for a wind farm in Lee County was relatively simple. Those days are gone. For the latest proposal to build wind turbines, the county had 26 meetings that took up 65 hours.
An "isolated manufacturing issue" caused two wind turbines in East Central Illinois to break last year, the manufacturer of the towers said Monday.
A committee of Vermilion County Board members will discuss this week a moratorium on the construction of any wind farms until the county addresses possible changes to its wind farm ordinance.
For months, the county bizarrely fought against the public's right to have access to that information. All 28 Lee County Board members stayed publicly quiet as this happened. The transcripts were done by a court reporter hired by Mainstream Renewable Power ...The proposed wind farm is controversial. Many neighboring residents don't want it, fearing their property values will decline, among other concerns. They want all the information they can about the project.
"My house won't be worth anything with a wind farm next to it," he said. "There are a lot of people who don't want [the wind turbines] to be our neighbors. If they want to come to our neighborhood, they should buy our neighborhood."
Gamesa USA had planned the Whispering Prairie wind farm for Ogle, Winnebago and Stephenson counties. But in November, the company informed landowners that it was terminating the lease options for wind turbines. The company said it found the wind project wasn't commercially viable.
From numbers acquired from this FOIA request, it was determined there is an accumulated five-year loss of more than $130,000. At the end of 10 years, when the last of the turbine's loan payments are scheduled to be made, the district can be projected to have a deficit of more than $260,000 if the expenses or repairs don't go up. In the most recent year alone, the annual insurance and maintenance expenses have risen more than $2,000.
Is the Bureau Valley wind turbine an asset or liability? The Bureau Valley District 340 Board of Education heard a report on the turbine's performance at a recent meeting.
Under questioning from attorney Rick Porter, who is representing residents fighting the wind farm, Shank confirmed he was aware that Mainstream was planning to take no measures to mitigate the harm to the ornate box turtle and the plains hognose snake.
Margina Schwartzbach says there was a reason she never objected beforehand to a planned wind turbine next to her home: No one told her about it. The West Brooklyn woman says she found out about it when the project started - more than a year after the county approved it.
But Brooklyn Township trustee Wesley Englehart said the company needs to make at least $620,000 more in improvements to township roads and bridges. He said the township's lawyer is working on the situation and that Goldwind has nearly $1 million in an escrow account to deal with such problems. In one instance, Englehart said, the company must replace a big box culvert.
In light of recent turbine damage in Vermillion and Champaign counties, Livingston County officials have raised concerns regarding the wind farm in their county. Last week, a blade broke at the recently built California Ridge Wind Farm in Vermillion and Champaign counties. The turbine is near Route 49 and Vermillion County Road 2700 North, a few miles southwest of Potomac and south of Armstrong.
Suzlon Energy Ltd. filed its complaint against Big Sky earlier this year claiming Big Sky improperly refused to make a prepayment for turbines supplied to Big Sky. The Ohio-based wind farm bought 114 Suzlon turbines in October 2009 for the Big Sky project.
The firm that operates the recently built California Ridge Wind Farm in Vermilion and Champaign counties said it is looking into how a wind turbine's blade broke on Tuesday night. Chicago-based Invenergy LLC released a statement Wednesday, saying that one of the wind farm's 134 turbines "experienced a broken blade last night" but how the damage occurred was not immediately known.
"The members felt a strong obligation to follow the ordinance," member Barry Welbers said. "They did follow it stringently. Whether it's the most perfect ordinance, that remains to be seen." Welbers said he voted down the turbines because the company's plan didn't comply with the ordinance.
The case is the latest in the tense stand-off between wind farm developers, driven by a government push for vast increases in the number of turbines, and those who oppose them - saying they are eyesores, and ineffective at generating clean energy.
DIXON - Want to find out about the debates during Lee County's wind farm hearings? You'll have to attend.
More than 10 hours of discussing proposed revisions to Boone County's wind farm regulations haven't led to any decisions. After hearing three more hours of testimony Tuesday night, the zoning board of appeals agreed to continue the public hearing to its Dec. 26 meeting.