A Houston-based energy company has filed an application for what could be McLean County's fourth wind farm.
EDP Renewables wants to put up 58 wind turbines between and south of Chenoa and Weston in northern McLean County.
The 5,000-acre Bright Stalk wind farm would have a generating capacity of 200 megawatts. That's 20 percent smaller than another proposed wind farm in the county that is currently going through Zoning Board of Appeals hearings for a special use permit. Invenergy would own and operate the other tower field also in northeastern McLean County.
Environmental advocates said they already have questions about potential overlap in Chenoa and Lawndale townships from the two projects. Advocates noted Zoning Board members will need to pay particular attention to noise studies for the two farms which were done without reference to each other.
EDP filings indicate the Bright Stalk wind farm would generate enough energy to power 69,000 homes. EDP indicated the project would create several hundred temporary construction jobs and 19 permanent positions.
The company characterized the site on the Bloomington Moraine as one of the premier wind sites in the state.
In its submission, EDP also said wind power has expanded by more than 8,000 MW in generating capacity per year in recent years. It is now the second largest kind of renewable energy in the nation, surpassing hydroelectric, according to EDP.
In the plains states, the Midwest, and Texas, more than half of the new generating capacity in the last five years has been wind powered, said EDP. The company also contended renewables now provide about 15 percent of the nation's electricity.
ZBA hearings on the Bright Stalk wind farm will begin Feb. 6. What county officials said they hope will be the final Invenergy hearing before the ZBA will be Tuesday evening.
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