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Irish firm touts wind farm plans in Boone County  

Credit:  By Betsy Lopez Fritscher, Rockford Register Star, www.rrstar.com 19 January 2011 ~~

BELVIDERE – Boone County officials met today with representatives from an Irish energy company that is shaping plans for a large wind turbine development in the county’s northeast corner.

The wind farm envisioned by Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power would stretch across 6,200 acres, mostly in LeRoy Township, said Boone County Board Vice Chairman Marshall Newhouse, who discussed the project Wednesday night with fellow board members.

Company representatives met earlier today with Newhouse, County Board Chairman Bob Walberg, County Administrator Ken Terrinoni, County Engineer Rich Lundin and Belvidere-Boone County interim Planning Director Kathy Miller at Belvidere City Hall, where the city-county planning department is located.

The company expects to spend this year completing its due diligence, Newhouse said.

“They’re waiting on the completion of a multitude of studies to determine the spacing of turbines, the size of turbines, the megawatts, and don’t anticipate moving forward in 2011 – more (like) 2012.”

Newhouse said Mainstream officials told the county that they are in talks with 30 to 40 landowners who collectively own the 6,200 acres on which the company would like to erect turbines.

“They are very aggressive about this and have a track record of up-and-coming projects in counties just south of us and bordering us,” Newhouse said, noting that he needs to see more details before deciding whether he’ll support the endeavor.

County officials told the company it must apply for a special-use permit and comply with other zoning regulations before it can proceed.

“In my mind, they’re trying to really do it right and don’t want to push it,” Walberg said.

Source:  By Betsy Lopez Fritscher, Rockford Register Star, www.rrstar.com 19 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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