Grundy County may not have any wind farms yet, but its neighbors do and officials say Grundy may be the next option.
No one has approached the county yet to construct a utility scale wind energy conversion system, or a wind farm, said Heidi Miller, director of the Land Use Department.
“But it’s just a matter of time,” she said Thursday.
The county board began discussions at Tuesday’s board meeting on an ordinance to outline requirements and regulations if a developer wanted to construct a wind farm in the county. The board approved the ordinance to be placed on file.
A wind farm would be a conditionally permitted use for the county, Miller said. The ordinance requires a site plan, which includes set backs in case a turbine fell, in addition to measurements of shadow flickering, environmental impact and other details.
Miller said construction of the turbines alone require a lot of preliminary work because the components are so wide that rural roads need to be improved.
Also part of the ordinance would required the developer to decommission and take down the turbines if the farm does not generate power in one year.
A wind farm is already under construction in LaSalle County near Marseilles, Seneca and Ransom. It will have at least 66 turbines, as previously reporter in The Herald News.
Miller also said a wind farm is planned for Livingston County in the next couple of years.
The ordinance does not cover single turbines if someone wanted to put one in their yard. Miller said it would be addressed later. A backyard turbine is about $5,500. Miller said she thought ones used on farms could cost about $1 million.
In other business, Highway Committee Chairman Don Neushwander Sr. updated the board on the demolition of the remnants of the Highway Department building. It has be taken down completely and the temporary trailers for the employees are expected next week. Employees are currently working in the basement of the Grundy County Sheriff’s office.
The county lost the building at 310 Dupont Road, seven snow plows, three pickups and a Ford Explorer in the December fire that began in one of the plows. Damage was estimated at about $2.5 million.
14 March 2008