Freeport, Ill. – Independent developer Sky Rudokas said he’s working on a project to establish three power generating wind towers outside Lena.
While the initiative is in the early stages at this point, Rudokas said he has high hopes for the project’s chances of success. Rudokas is vice president of VySky Energy LLC, a firm headquartered in the Chicago suburbs that specializes in green energy solutions. Among other things, the firm installs solar street lights, and establishes small wind turbines for farmers.
“We want to do it on our own and be more independent,” Rudokas said of the proposed Lena wind farm. “We’ll do a small (wind farm), and if everything goes fine, we may do a bigger one. We may be able to increase capacity.”
Terry Groves, director of planning and zoning for Stephenson County, said smaller wind farms with fewer than 10 towers are becoming more common in the Upper Midwest. This is because with a smaller farm, the developer does not have to wait as long to be connected to a region’s power grid, Groves said.
Rudokas has not yet applied for a special-use permit to establish the three-tower farm in question. Even so, he has met with Groves and County Engineer Chris Isbell to discuss the permit application process and the administrative costs associated with the project, Groves said.
The exact location of the proposed farm has not been disclosed. However, Groves said it will likely be located northwest of Lena and south of Lake Le-Aqua-Na. Before a special-use permit is issued, adjacent property owners would have to be notified and a public hearing would have to be held.
Rudokas said he hopes to purchase about 40 acres of land in rural Stephenson County to use for the wind farm. If the project is successful, he may lease or purchase additional acres to expand the farm. No cost figures have been provided for this project.
The wind farm would generate a total of about 6 megawatts of power annually, Rudokas said.
To Rudokas, Stephenson County is an ideal site for his proposed farm, considering the success of the EcoGrove wind farm near Lena and this region’s commitment to alternative energy.
“Everybody is thinking that we have to develop different sources of energy,” Rudokas said. “I thought the community should welcome the small developers, too.”
For more information on VySky Energy, visit the firm’s website at www.vyskyenergy.com. If you have questions about Stephenson County zoning, contact Groves at (815) 599-0344.
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