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De Kalb and Lee County Wind Project, IL

STATUS: Prolonged delay

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Hearing Officer David Dockus; Citizens for Open Government

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate 

BACKGROUND:  The wind project is located in both DeKalb County and Lee County, Illinois.  The project consists of 151 turbines, 133 turbines in Dekalb County and 18 turbines in Lee County. The developer of the project is NextEra Energy Resources. These turbines will generate 226.5-megawatts of energy, which is enough energy to provide power to 55,000 homes.

Building the DeKalb and Lee County Wind Project would employ approximately 300 construction workers.  Once the turbines are complete, 20 permanent jobs will be created to maintain the structures.

In May 2009, a key county official, David Dockus, recommended the DeKalb County Board approve a special use permit for the project. Initially, Dockus denied that application in March citing among his concerns, were a lack of both a property value guarantee plan and a sufficient decommissioning process.  NextEra made a series of concessions to address those concerns. Dockus’ recommendation includes seven conditions and restrictions.  On July 21, 2009, Citizens for Open Government filed a lawsuit against all 24 DeKalb County board members, and Florida Power & Light Energy Illinois Wind LLC, the parent company of  NextEra Energy Resources. The group has also asked for a temporary restraining order to stop work on the wind farm project

In January 2010, NextEra Energy Resources had planned to “officially commission” the project.  Although the project was nearing completion, anti-wind forces continued to register complaints with the county.  In June 2010, a Circuit Court judge cleared the way, by denying a motion to dismiss, for a lawsuit filed by a group of DeKalb County residents who claim 126 wind turbines are there illegally and want them torn down.

SOURCES: No Wind Farms: http://nowindfarms.com/blog/whats-the-issue/#more-172
Wind for Illinois: http://windforillinois.blogspot.com/2009/05/dekalb-county-official-recommends.html
Daily Chronicle: http://www.windforillinois.org/news/tag/rich-porter?currentPage=2
Chicago Breaking Business: http://chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2010/06/dekalb-county-wind-farm-lawsuit-moves-forward.html
Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-04-03/news/0904030089_1_wind-farm-turbines-nantucket-sound

Last updated November 12, 2010