Staying up-to speed on wind farms
By SUZANNE WERRE
BHG News Service
Coal may be king in McLean County, but that doesn’t mean wind farms aren’t making their presence known. The county commission is taking steps to make sure any impending wind farms don’t make too much of a presence – at least as far as noise goes.
The McLean County Commission will be updating county ordinances related to wind farms at the suggestion of State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson, hoping to get ahead of the new wind ordinance issues that could be coming from the Public Service Commission.
The PSC has found that the typical quarter/half-mile setbacks have been proven inadequate for preventing an inordinate amount of noise for the area residents when there is high wind.
Erickson will be doing more research to see what an adequate distance between a wind farm and residences would be, and will get back to the commission.
At issue right now is the potential for land that could be developed, but could be prevented because of wind turbines being too close.
Erickson said he will look at the set-backs, see which laws may have changed, and bring his findings back to the commission and the planning and zoning committee, which will then look at updating the county’s ordinances regarding wind farms.
“There are so many (issues) with this wind that we maybe want to be up to speed on it,” said Erickson. “I just think it’s something that needs to be addressed, possibly reach out to some developers.
“I’m not thinking we need huge public involvement in it, but I do think if the commission is open, we’re probably at the point where we need to make sure our planning and zoning is updated,” he added.