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County holds off on some wind energy regulations, but says no to utility-scale turbines

Although at least two area villages have set wind turbine regulations in the past few months and the Lake County Board has agreed to disallow utility-scale turbines, the county is still mulling small-scale regulations.

The board voted recently to prohibit large wind farms in unincorporated areas, following standards that Gurnee and Grayslake have already set with their regulations. Gurnee’s wind-energy ordinance has been in effect since November, and the Grayslake Village Board is expected to officially pass that town’s wind ordinance at a meeting later tonight.

The county has been reviewing wind energy standards for almost two years, but voted Feb. 8 to postpone consideration of small wind turbines in unincorporated areas.

Libertyville is following suit – a plan commission discussion on wind scheduled for January was pushed back to a Feb. 28 meeting. A six-month moratorium on construction of wind energy systems could be extended to allow more time for discussion on the topic, according to village officials.

Small wind energy systems – like the ones approved in Gurnee and proposed in the county – typically consist of one small turbine used to provide partial power to an on-site facility.

The county board will again consider approving small wind turbines in unincorporated areas of Lake County during its March 15 meeting. A public hearing will precede that vote.