DANVILLE – The process has begun for the first company to seek an application to construct wind turbines in Vermilion County.
Four different companies have confirmed preliminary plans in recent years to locate all or part of wind turbine projects in Vermilion County.
County Board Chairman Jim McMahon said Tuesday a representative from International Power filed an application with the county for the Hoopeston Wind Project. The project calls for the construction of 49 wind turbines south of the village of Reilly between County Roads 3800N and 3500N. The site is about three miles south and two miles east of Rankin.
The permit fee cost to International Power is $1,000 per turbine.
Unlike other counties that are the site of wind farms, Vermilion County does not have countywide zoning. A wind turbine ordinance, passed by the Vermilion County Board in January 2009, compensates for that by creating a building-permit format that oversees companies that want to build turbines in the county.
The application includes a summary of the location and number of turbines, any relevant studies as well as any additional system construction and must be approved by county officials.
The county safety committee oversees the application for wind turbine projects in the county. McMahon said tentative plans are for a committee meeting in Rossville, although a date has not been set.
Once the committee approves the application, the hope is to bring the application for the Hoopeston Wind Project before the full county board in March.
McMahon said the first economic development of the year will “put a lot of people to work,” creating a small amount of permanent jobs and a larger number of contracts for workers in gravel, sand, concrete, electrical and others.
McMahon said the county has been meeting with other companies regularly about wind turbine projects, but did not indicate which ones. Horizon, Invenergy Wind Development and Eco-Energy have each initiated plans for specific wind turbine projects in the western and southern parts of the county.
McMahon has said that BP and Iberdrola have inquired in the past about potential projects.
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