Library filed under General from Illinois

Critics: Wind farm math doesn’t add up

Michael Miller used his actuarial skills to criticize the math behind a favorable report on the White Oak Wind Energy Center near Carlock, and Bob Burger tried to show how the proposed development would “engulf” his view. Miller, a former Carlock mayor, called the 100-turbine wind farm proposed by Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC a “mistake for Carlock’s future.” He and Burger were the first objectors called Monday during the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on the proposal. The hearing on Invenergy’s request for a special-use permit that would allow for the turbines in McLean County began Jan. 17 and is expected to continue at 6 p.m. today at the Government Center, 115 E. Washington St. “I do not find anything attractive about a 400-foot-tall forest of power plants,” Burger said.
30 Jan 2007

Wind farm foes to present case - McLean County hearings stretch into fifth day

Wind power opponents in McLean County may begin presenting the case against a proposed wind farm tonight as public hearings on the issue stretch into the fifth day. Hundreds have packed the hearings since they began last week, with nearly all of the 180 seats for the fourth four-hour session full on Monday night. Cindy Lorimor of rural Carlock has been to them all and plans to fight the project as long as she can. It’s not that she and her group, a grass-roots effort that has sprung up under the name Information is Power, oppose clean, alternative energy sources. They say the 12,000 acres in McLean and Woodford counties that will be dotted with 100 of the proposed 40-story turbines simply isn’t well suited for such a project.
24 Jan 2007

Sherrard plans wind turbine project

Another area school district is getting into the energy business. Plans are on the table for a $2.1 million wind turbine in the Sherrard School District in lower Rock Island County. The project would provide energy for the 170,000-square-foot junior/senior high campus, which is an all-electric facility. “Of that $2.1 million, the district has already received a little over $1.7 million in secured funding for the project,” Superintendent Robert Gillum said. “$420,000 of that is a nonrepay grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation.”
23 Jan 2007

Road upgrades being discussed; wind farm construction equipment could damage McLean, Woodford roads

BLOOMINGTON - Township roads could be upgraded as part of a massive wind farm project proposed for parts of McLean and Woodford counties. Bloomington attorney Robert Lenz, who represents road commissioners in four McLean County townships where Invenergy Wind LLC is trying to install a wind farm, testified Monday that he is negotiating with Invenergy to upgrade roads damaged during construction. “It will be a significant improvement over the conditions that now exist,” Lenz said. “They will all have a greater base than they have now, they’ll have a better surface, and they’ll be wider.” The testimony was part of the fourth day of public hearings before the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals on whether to recommend a special-use permit for the White Oak Wind Energy Center that will span 12,000 acres near Carlock.
23 Jan 2007

Wind farm hearings continue

The noise made by wind turbines is the equivalent of background noise in a conference room, an engineer testified Monday night at a meeting before the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals. Timothy Casey of HDR Engineering, Minneapolis, Minn., continued testimony began at the last meeting on his company’s noise analysis of the proposed wind turbines. His analysis was based on a wind speed of 22 mph — the wind might blow more, but the turbines are adjusted so they don’t spin faster if the wind speed is higher. He said because of a redesign of the configuration of the blades, they are quieter and don’t “thump” like older models do. Earlier, it was reported that the county requires 1,500-foot setbacks to distance turbines from homeowners. About 100 people attended one in a continuing series of four-hour meetings that continue this month. Invenergy Wind LLC of Chicago has proposed that 100 wind turbines be located on 12,200 acres in McLean and Woodford Counties. The White Oak Energy Center would be located west of Interstate 39 and north and east of Interstate 74. A total of 83 acres of farmland would ne taken out of production in the project, Invenergy has said.
22 Jan 2007

Public hearings on wind farm continue Monday

A public hearing on a proposal to bring a 100-turbine wind farm to land between Hudson and Carlock will continue at 6 p.m. Monday. The hearing will move from Heartland Community College to Room 400 in the Government Center, 115 E. Washington St., Bloomington. The McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals will continue to receive testimony from witnesses called by Invenergy Wind LLC, the company proposing the project.
19 Jan 2007

Habitat drives wind farm debate

How power-generating wind turbines affect birds and bats figured prominently in testimony Thursday as a county hearing on the proposed White Oak Wind Energy Center entered its third day. Paul Kerlinger, a bird migration and ecology expert from Cape May Point, N.J., spoke before the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals. About 160 people attended the hearing at Heartland Community College.
18 Jan 2007

Critic calls turbines unfit neighbors; Noise levels, shadows cited as reasons to reject wind farm

An energy and environmental consultant hired by opponents of the proposed White Oak Wind Energy Center maintains Invenergy Wind LLC fails to meet several requirements for a special-use permit for the wind farm. Tom Hewson of Energy Ventures Analysis Inc., Arlington, Va., spoke to the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals during a hearing Wednesday night. He said the proposed 100-turbine wind farm in McLean and Woodford counties would be a detriment to the public because of noise levels and visibility. Hewson said he did a “simple approach” simulation of one turbine to see how far a person had to be away from the turbine before it complied with Illinois’ noise regulations. “At 750 feet away, it exceeded the range,” he said, noting that three property owners have asked for waivers to allow a turbine in about that range. Hewson said it wasn’t until a person was 1,200 feet away from the turbine that the noise met Illinois’ requirements.
18 Jan 2007

Crowd turns out for wind meeting; Group doesn’t want turbines near homes

A standing room only crowd turned out Tuesday for a McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals wind farm hearing that will continue tonight and possibly Thursday. The turnout at Heartland Community College included a group of about 16 families represented by Bloomington attorney Melissa McGrath. Her clients do not want wind turbines for the project built near their homes. McGrath questioned the grounds on which Phil Dick, McLean County zoning director, recommended the board approve the application for the project by Invenergy Wind LLC. McGrath said Dick has yet to hear all the information in the case. Board Chairman Sally Rudolph assured McGrath the board is under no obligation to accept the director’s recommendation.
17 Jan 2007

Invenergy speaks at public hearing

Invenergy representatives got a chance Tuesday to talk about the company and tell why they want to build a 100-turbine wind farm in McLean and Woodford counties. They spoke at the first in a series of public hearings before the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals. Meanwhile, Melissa McGrath, an attorney representing several opponents of the project, questioned a McLean County Building and Zoning Department recommendation for the wind farm.
17 Jan 2007

Wind farm proposal gains support; Knox County Board chairman wants property owner rights protected

The proposal for a large wind farm in Knox County is good news for its tax base as long as landowners are protected, the County Board chairman says. In the past few months, wind farm developer and operator Invenergy of Chicago has doubled its Bishop Hill Wind Energy Center to a goal of 532 turbines, with 266 turbines each in Knox and Henry counties. The wind farm would be complete in three to five years, generating 800 megawatts of electricity and costing up to $1.6 billion, said Joel Link, director of business development for Invenergy. If complete, it would be one of the largest land-based wind farms in the world, he said. The Knox County side of the project, which has yet to be permitted, is a year behind the Henry County side, where turbine construction will begin this year. Originally, most of the wind farm was to be in Henry County, but the project grew in Knox County because of landowner interest and available space on transmission lines.
16 Jan 2007

Carlock wind farm hearing is Tuesday; McLean zoning panel weighs special use

A public hearing will be Tuesday, and possibly continue Wednesday, for a proposed $250 million wind farm spread across 12,000 acres in McLean and Woodford counties. At issue during the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals hearing, which will be at 7 p.m. at the Heartland Community College Community Commons Building, is whether the county should approve special-use permits for the sprawling wind farm, White Oak Wind Center, being proposed by Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC. Action has been halted in Woodford County as officials wait to see what McLean County officials decide.
15 Jan 2007

Wind farm size to double

GALESBURG - Plans for a local wind farm have doubled in size to a goal of 532 turbines, which would be one of the largest land-based wind farms in the world if it is completed. Chicago-based Invenergy said it now seeks to place 266 wind turbines each in Knox and Henry counties. The alternative energy venture, called Bishop Hill Wind Energy Center, would be complete in three to five years, generating 800 megawatts of electricity, said Joel Link, director of business development for Invenergy.
14 Jan 2007

Winds of change fan opposition - Residents' group differs with plan for rural turbines

CARLOCK — Cindy Lorimor won’t have any of the proposed White Oak Wind Energy Center turbines on her rural Carlock property, but they will surround it. “There will be two within 1½ miles and three within 2 miles,” she said. The idea doesn’t thrill her. And, she’s not alone. Lorimor is among about 25 people who have joined forces in a grassroots group called Information is Power. “We’ve contacted experts that lead us to believe this is not a good thing for our community,” she said. Invenergy believes otherwise.
14 Jan 2007

Wind farm developer is sold; company building facility near Camp Grove now part of BP Energy

The company developing an approximately 100-tower wind farm around this small community on the Marshall-Stark County line has been sold to a division of the multinational operation once known as British Petroleum. California-based Orion Energy LLC was sold last month to BP Alternative Energy, a business formed by BP Global a year earlier to concentrate on alternative and renewable energy projects, company officials said recently in an online trade publication.
13 Jan 2007

White Oaks board ‘has no problems’ with wind farm

White Oak Township officials have sent a letter expressing no objections to the proposed wind farm in their area, but some residents say they had no say on it because a public meeting was rescheduled with little notice. Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC has proposed White Oak Wind Energy Center, a $250 million, 100-turbine wind farm on 12,000 acres of farmland in McLean and Woodford counties. The project goes to the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday. The township board met Monday and heard and approved a letter Township Supervisor Cynthia Cook sent to the county zoning board, saying the township had no grounds to object to the project. The problem, some people say, is that meeting was supposed to be Wednesday.
12 Jan 2007

Lawsuit filed over wind farm permits; Competitor desires reversal over zoning

The Bureau County Board and a wind energy company have been sued in a zoning dispute. The suit was filed Jan. 2 by Eurus Crescent Ridge II LLC and Crescent Ridge Wind LLC, local affiliates of California-based Eurus Wind Energy. Their suit alleges violations of the county’s zoning ordinance. It also seeks to reverse the County Board’s decision to approve more than 40 conditional use permits for a wind farm overlapping their two projects.
9 Jan 2007

Questions to ask about wind farms

Allowing wind companies free range because of the “We-have-to-do-something!'’ attitude, is like throwing spaghetti against the refrigerator, hoping it sticks and worrying about the mess later. Ignoring and minimizing genuine concerns of the affected residents and neighbors is dangerous, too. The scars of a divided community will last far longer than any turbine and the lease payments. Only those who’ve experienced small town/rural living can fully appreciate the value of a united, harmonious community. Blindly sacrificing that is not a price any of us should be willing to accept.
2 Jan 2007

‘Good old days’ before wind farms

“Grandpa, tell us about the good old days.'’ “Well, not so very long ago, farmers grew crops, tended livestock, looked out for their neighbors and worshipped together. Children played outside without getting sick from turbine blade flicker. “On a clear night, you could see millions of stars. Cattle lowed in Uncle Ray’s dairy barns. Pumpkin pies baked in Grandma Linda’s kitchen. Uncle Kenny was as ornery as ever before he went stone deaf from working under the turbines. “Deer hunters gathered in sheds sharing hunting stories. Neighbors visited and were honest and forthright with one another. Come summertime, children showed their prized livestock at county fairs. Hiking through Comlara Park, folks enjoyed wildlife. “Then the factories came.
29 Dec 2006

Bitter wind farm fight dividing neighbors

The fight in McLean County over the proposed wind power plant has become bitter. Neighbors feel betrayed by neighbors; families are battling each other; churches are divided; and friendships have been irrevocably lost due to this project. The bitterness and divisiveness involved can be illustrated by the actions of one particular participating McLean County farmer. He stood at the Woodford County Zoning Board of Appeals and during his presentation shook his finger at the assembled members of his community and said, ``Shame on you if you moved out into this area thinking you were going to make a lot of money on your home.'' He added, ``If you are going to sell, you better sell now, because it is going to be a mess out here.''
29 Dec 2006
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