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Expansion of Twin Groves Wind Farm, Horizon Wind Energy, IL

STATUS: In progress

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Tazewell County State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz, Local residents;  Union Ridge Wind organization

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND: Horizon plans to add more than 300 wind turbines to its 240-turbine (396 megawatts) Twin Groves Wind Farm to answer growing demands and requirements for renewable energy. Phases 4 and 5, which constitute the expansion project, would create 450 temporary construction jobs and 40 to 50 permanent jobs.  Total cost of the wind farm is expected to be around $1 billion.

Tazewell County State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz believes the expansion would violate state law and is threatening to sue the county if the project is permitted.  Local opponents formed Union Ridge Wind and hired Attorney Rick Porter, who is threatening to pursue legal action as well. Construction would start in the spring of 2010 and completed in 2011, but litigation could cause delays. Project manager Bill Whitlock said that uncertainty created by threats of litigation have prevented the establishment of a definite start date.

As of January 2010, the McLean County Board approved the proposed project. Construction  is expected to begin in April 2011. The first phase of the project — 200 megawatts or between 100 and 130 wind turbines — could be completed as early as fall 2011, barring any weather or other delays.

SOURCES: Energy Business Review http://www.energy-business-review.com/news/horizon_wind_energy_to_double_twin_groves_wind_farm_090607;
JournalStar http://www.pjstar.com/news/x2109420490/Umholtz-shows-his-opposition-to-wind-farm;
Pentagraph: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/article_743af99c-0525-11df-840e-001cc4c002e0.html

Last updated November 11, 2010