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Mixed reaction to Lee Co. wind farm  

Credit:  By Elizabeth Fay, WREX, www.wrex.com 19 September 2011 ~~

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn touts a deal with China that leads to a $200 million dollar wind farm project in Lee County.

The governor says the project improves the state’s place in the global marketplace but some people in the area wish construction for the wind farm never started.

China-based wind turbine manufacturer, Goldwind’s plans in Lee County don’t settle well with resident Ralph Lassa. “They’re not living by these things! This gorgeous agricultural landscape is decimated,” he says.

71 wind turbines will go between West Brooklyn and Compton and then South to the county line. Some people in the area welcome the change.

“They could put one right in my yard here! It would help the income of my salary,” says George Morath of Compton.

More than a hundred construction workers will earn a pay check building the wind farm. A dozen other people will step into permanent maintenance jobs and Goldwind plans to create hundreds of other American jobs as it builds renewable energy towers in different parts of the country.

The turbines are expected to generate enough electricity for 25,000 homes. The benefits aren’t enough to convince Lassa that changing the quiet countryside is a good idea. ” It’s part of the environmental push, which on one hand I can appreciate but on the other hand, I don’t see much benefit to the environment and to the economy and to our pocket books . I just don’t see enough upside that this is really worthwhile,” says Lassa.

The announcement about the Goldwind partnership came as Governor Quinn continues his business and economic trade mission in China. He also announced another agreement with China where Archer Daniels Midland company in Decatur will sell $180,000 metric tons of soy beans to a Chinese manufacturer by the end of next year. Quinn says these partnerships will help Illinois double its exports by 2014.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey is with the governor in China to help with build business relationships.

Source:  By Elizabeth Fay, WREX, www.wrex.com 19 September 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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