This article comes from The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and The Bloomington Pantagraph.
Invenergy plans to construct about 100 turbines for a 250 MW rating, and related infrastructure across more than 100 parcels in Chenoa, Gridley, Lawndale, Lexington and Money Creek townships, according to county records. A permit application says, “The project will likely commence construction in 2018 or 2019 with the goal of being operational in 2019 or 2020.”
The project could create 35 long-term jobs and at least $2.3 million in new annual taxes in the county, according to a study by David Loomis, an Illinois State University economics professor who directs its renewable energy center. The project location was selected due to the area’s strong wind resource, land use, and proximity to existing transmission infrastructure,” according to the permit application.
The permit would allow “wind turbine generators that are up to 500-feet high (Max reach of a blade tip) as well as any access roads, transformers, power lines, communication lines, interconnection lines, substation, construction lay-down yards and other ancillary facilities or structures,” states a county notice.
“The application also requests that the time period to apply for building permits for the (farm) be extended to three years, rather than two years as provided by the McLean County Zoning Ordinance,” according to the notice.
Another company, EDP Renewables, has been competing to build a wind farm in the same area. Officials with that firm did not respond to requests for comment.
Last year, county officials added more regulations for future wind development, including specific setbacks, turbine heights, decommissioning requirements and wildlife impact studies, in anticipation of permit applications from one or both companies.
Wind farms currently operating in the county include Twin Groves Wind Farm, a pair of 198-megawatt farms near Ellsworth, and White Oak Energy Center, a 150-megawatt farm near Carlock.