Wind towers, setbacks, decommissioning and development were all factors discussed during a special meeting of the Iroquois County Board’s Planning and Zoning Committee yesterday.
Committee members heard testimony and information from several individuals during the meeting, including Sheldon Township resident Terry Burton.
Burton had previously addressed the committee regarding the two proposed wind farm developments in Sheldon Township. Yesterday he briefly repeated his concerns and talked about why he believes the county’s current wind tower ordinance is not sufficient to deal with the coming development.
He said that while the wind towers may add to the area’s tax base, they affect local residents and the landscape of the surrounding area.
Burton said he does not believe the wind towers will reduce electric costs in Iroquois County and will not significantly reduce CO2 emissions. However, he said, the companies will receive U.S. green tag credits and renewable energy credits, giving them funding for the projects.
“These are not reliable and not consistent,” Burton said of the towers, as wind is not a constant energy source.
Moving to the ordinance, Burton said the current ordinance, adopted in June of 2004, is not specific enough about where a wind tower can be located. He said it should also require some type of wind data proving that the area is a good location for wind energy.
Burton said other additions may include requiring transmission lines to be underground, regulating artificial lighting, limiting the type of tower to mono-type structures, specifying the time frame of decommissioning of an unused tower, requiring a deposit from the company for consultant fees so the county can hire professionals to analyze information independent of the wind tower company.
By Erin Doss
19 April 2007
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