Government panel unanimously backs wind farm for far northeastern McLean County

Wind turbine
The McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously for a special use permit allowing for 58 wind turbines in far northeastern McLean County. (Photo courtesy Jim Fischer)


By Howard Packowitz

BLOOMINGTON – Another wind farm proposal, this one planned for far northeastern McLean County, has received unanimous backing from the county’s zoning board of appeals.

EDP Renewables North America applied for a special use permit to produce electricity with 58 turbines spread across Chenoa, Lawndale, and Yates Townships.

Chenoa resident Tim Jolly said he attended each of the 10 hearings on EDP’s Bright Stalk Wind Farm. He said he also sat through about the same number of hearings on Invenergy’s application for 100 turbines to be spread across five northern McLean County townships.

Opponents packed the meeting room for Invenergy’s proposal, but Jolly said fewer people showed up to protest EDP’s plans, believing there was nothing they could do to stop the project.

“They saw that is was a done deal. I’ve heard comments the writings on the wall that it’s a done deal,” said Jolly.

“That’s the biggest comment I heard through out this who proceeding because the information was not put out there to the public,” he said.

Jolly and other opponents worry about noise and other environmental impacts.

The county board, which has the final say, voted 10-8 in favor of Invenergy’s wind farm.

Jolly said the zoning board should have learned from the close vote to more carefully review the evidence.

“I think it sent a message that things needed to be handled more thoroughly. That opposing points of view needed to be probably taken more weight on. That the evidence showed that there was actually an opposition that had the facts to back up what they said,” said Jolly.

The county board is expected to vote on the latest wind farm plan at its March 20 meeting.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at [email protected]


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