Plans are still in the works for a wind farm in western Sangamon County.
Chris Nickell, vice president of site establishment for Springfield Project Development, said Wednesday that plans for the wind farm had to be redrawn after the Sangamon County Board changed the zoning rules last year and required that large wind turbines had to be farther from property lines and houses.
“Based on those changes, we had to redesign the layout,” Nickell said. “The most dramatic change is that the first phase of the project will be relatively small, about 30 megawatts. Before, we planned on the first phases being 100 or more megawatts.”
The 30-megawatt first phase will result in 13 or 14 wind turbines.
“The reason for the variability is that we still haven’t finalized the exact model of the turbine we will use. Different models have different ratings,” Nickell said, adding that initial construction is still more than a year off.
The county’s old regulations required a large wind turbine to be at least 1, 000 feet, or three times the diameter of the rotors, whichever is greater, from a house. The setback from the property line had to be at least 1, 200 feet.
The new regulations, approved in November 2012, keeps the same distance restrictions for turbines up to 400 feet high. For turbines taller than that, the new rules require that the distances between houses and property lines be increased in proportion to the height of the turbines.
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