* We desperately need statewide rules for wind farm siting, as this Douglas County case clearly shows…
Harvest Ridge would create up to 250 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and eight to 10 permanent jobs to operate and maintain the turbines once they’re up and running, according to EDP. […]
Wal-Mart has signed on to buy 233 megawatts of electricity from EDP’s various wind farms, including 50 megawatts specifically from Harvest Ridge. A local cooperative, the Wabash Valley Power Association, has plans to purchase 100 megawatts for 20 years and a second unidentified private purchaser will buy 50 megawatts for an undisclosed number of years.
But a zoning battle that has spilled into court could jeopardize all of that.
EDP recently filed a lawsuit against Murdock Township, which last fall created and enacted its own zoning requirements for wind, separate and more restrictive than the Douglas County ordinance that was intended to be countywide.
In the lawsuit, EDP attorneys argue that the township ordinances are designed “in a manner in which it would be effectively impossible to develop and permit the project.” The company’s complaint states that Murdock Township’s actions are prejudicial to the project, contrary to zoning authority granted to townships by the Illinois General Assembly and an improper attempt to override the county’s wind-farm ordinance.
The governor committed Illinois to the US Climate Alliance just the other day. We’re not going to get there if rural township NIMBYs are setting up arbitrary roadblocks to wind (and solar) power.
The state needs reasonable, uniform siting and operational guidelines. As I’ve mentioned before, the Farm Bureau and the alternative energy folks have been butting heads for years. It’s going to take an involved governor to resolve this disagreement.