By Lisa Hammer of the Star Courier
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.
Each turbine’s control panel includes a step-up transformer to raise the voltage from 575 to distribution line voltage of 34.5 kilovolts.
Bishop Hill Energy will build a 138-kilovolt transmission line from its project substation to the Kewanee East substation eight to 10 miles northeast of the project area. The location of the project substation and transmission line will be determined in consultation with landowners and the county, and submitted to the county prior to construction.
The minimum turbine setback from the landowner’s home is 1.1 times the tower height. Minimum setback from non-participating homes is 1,000 feet, in accordance with the county’s wind energy zoning ordinance. Minimum setback from neighboring property lines is the length of the blade height plus 100 feet.
According to the project application, the cost of decommissioning or taking down the turbines can be paid out of scrap metal value. In today’s costs, decommissioning is less than half the value of the turbines’ scrap metal.
The plan application says the town of Bishop Hill may experience impairment to television reception.
The firm is to do an assessment prior to construction to avoid abandoned mine sites. Turbines will be situated to avoid the 100-year floodplain on the Edwards River and South Edwards River. Turbines will also be built a distance from forests and groves to maximize wind output and reduce tree removal but “in some instances, tree removal may be required.”
Turbines begin operating at wind speeds of 6.7 miles per hour and can withstand speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, but automatically shut down when winds reach 55 mph. The energy generated is proportional to the cube of the wind velocity, which means a doubling of wind speed will result in roughly an eightfold increase in power.
Construction is expected to begin next spring and take approximately eight months, with an anticipated start-up date of December, 2007.
The county’s planning committee will hold a public hearing on the project at 7 p.m. Monda at the Henry County Courthouse (following the first part of their meeting which will start at 6 p.m.) The zoning board of appeals will hold a similar public hearing at the courthouse on the Invenergy project at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding