PAXTON – A special-use permit application for the Dogtown Wind Project, a proposed 100-megawatt wind farm east of Paxton, received the go-ahead from the Ford County Planning Commission last week.
The commission voted 7-0 Thursday to send an advisory report to the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals saying that the wind farm’s permit application is in compliance with the county’s wind ordinance.
The zoning board of appeals will hold a public hearing next month to consider the permit and make its own recommendation on whether the permit should be approved by the Ford County Board. The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the commons area at the Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School/Junior High complex.
The planning commission met for a little over an hour Thursday to discuss the permit. Part of the discussion were issues such as the noise turbines can make and the “shadow flicker” they can create – “all the usual things,” according to Supervisor of Assessments Candice Short.
The commission also discussed setbacks for wind turbines. The Dogtown project calls for a 1,640-foot setback – or 500 meters – between turbines and primary structures, such as homes or garages. That setback far exceeds Ford County’s minimum setback of 1,000 feet, Short said.
The Dogtown Wind Project would feature up to 49 turbines and comprise 6,136 acres of farmland. The project would be built along a 10-mile stretch of Illinois 9, immediately south of the 150-megawatt, 94-turbine Pioneer Trail Wind Farm.
The wind farm is being jointly developed by Stewardship Energy LLC, based in Bureau County, and Akuo Energy USA, a subsidiary of France-based Akuo Energy that is headquartered in Chicago.
The earliest the Ford County Board could vote on the permit is at its April 8 meeting.
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