A company planning a wind farm in Whiteside County may face determined opposition.
Last week, a county official revealed that Mainstream Renewable Power wants to extend a wind farm in Bureau and Lee counties to Whiteside County.
The turbines would be north of the village of Deer Grove and go west of state Route 40. Deer Grove is 11 miles south of Rock Falls, and has a population of about 50.
Already, County Board members are hearing opposition to Mainstream’s plans.
At an Executive Committee meeting Tuesday, board member Karen Nelson reported she had received a couple of calls from Deer Grove residents upset about the possibility of wind turbines near their homes.
They were worried about the required minimum distance between homes and turbines under county ordinance – 1,400 feet, Nelson said.
She said she advised them to go to county Planning and Zoning Commission meetings, but said she feared the county wouldn’t inform residents of meetings involving the proposed wind farm.
County Board Chairman Tony Arduini said he also received a call from someone concerned about the wind farm.
“We don’t know much about it ourselves,” Arduini said.
County Administrator Joel Horn said the county would have public meetings so that all concerned could find out about the project and air their views.
Although Whiteside County has a wind ordinance, it has no turbines, unlike many neighboring counties.
Officials have said they want to explore certain issues related to wind farms – such as roads and abandonment of turbines – before getting applications.
Representatives of Ireland-based Mainstream say they expect to apply for permits to the three counties in the coming months.
Most of the 190 turbines would be in Lee County, they said, but they wouldn’t say how many would be in each county.
Lee County has long debated the possibility of new wind farms. Many residents say there already are too many turbines in the county.
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