Illinois wind lifts off

ELPC reports that over 3,000 MW of electric capacity is proposed for Illinois, enough to power over a million Illinois homes. Indeed, one 400 MW project near Bloomington could power a medium-sized city. Illinois is far behind some of its Midwestern neighbors in the wind power game because of its slow movement towards a Renewable Portfolio Standard and, compared to the Plains to the west, meager wind resources.

Localities, too, can charge ahead to encourage renewable energy: not only by doing as Chicago did and purchasing Green Tags, but through good planning. Klickitat County in southern Washington state has created a zoning overlay district that allows wind turbines as-of-right in parts of the county that are both suitably windy and ready to deal with the land-use impacts. The zone was created after a $500,000 feasibility study, money that it will quickly recover with 500 MW of generation capacity planned.

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