A renewable energy developer explains its plans to create a wind farm in North Boone County. Mainstream Renewable Power held an open house and gave an update on the project. The company continues to move forward with plans to build about 100 turbines in Northern Boone County. Meantime, the community’s feelings about the wind farm is mixed.
Project leaders say multiple landowners signed off on 8,000 acres all together for the possible wind farm. Dairy farmer, Leslie Wundrow, offered his land and say’s it’s time to rethink energy. “In the future we can’t be relying on everybody else, foreign countries and all this stuff. We have to do something on our own,” he says.
However, another farm owner worries the construction will destroy her land. “The farm that I own had been in the family so I want to make sure of what it’s going to do to the land, make sure that it’s still going to remain tillable and productive,” says Lucy Smolinski.
North Boone School Board President, Donald Ward, says he’s excited for an economic boost from property tax revenue.” It would bring a small amount of revenue into the district, especially for the schools which are kind of, right now, needing a little extra revenue,” says Ward.
Still, some critics have noise, safety and environmental concerns. Senior Development Project Manager, John Martin, says the planning process includes rigorous design, safety and environmental studies with their own engineers and government agencies. “We will have to study the habitat of the area, what our layout is going to look like with respect to the proximity of the habitat but at the end of the day we are looking the US Fish and Wildlife Services and the Illinois Department of Nature Resources to give us, generally the ok,” he says.
County board members must also give the ok before construction can begin. The company hopes to request special use permits for the project in the middle of next year.
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