Village Board Considers Wind Turbines Closer than 1.5 miles
The Dwight Village Board held an Administrative and Finance Committee meeting prior to the regular session on Monday January 23 with the following Agenda Items:
- Pattern Energy Wind Farm
- Extend New Home Construction Incentive
- Hire EMS Paramedics
Representatives of Pattern Energy were in attendance to discuss the impending wind farm east of Dwight. The site extends from Dwight into Kankakee County and will include 161 wind turbines. The project will create 300 megawatts of power and permitting will begin this summer. The term of the wind farm will be 30 years and land rights have been obtained from the respective property owners.
An Open House for the general public is planned for March 14 to provide more specific details.
The purpose of the January 23 meeting was twofold. The Pattern Energy reps were first asking for a resolution by the Board to approve a variance from the current Village Zoning that turbines be at least 1.5 miles away from Village boundaries. The current plan calls for 17 turbines to be set within these limits.
Secondly a Community Benefits Agreement was being sought by the energy firm which provides for payments to the Village of $1500 / year per turbine (approximately $25,500 per year) once the units are in operation plus a $10,000 Execution Payment.
Construction is projected to begin in 2024 with units being operational in late 2025 and several taxing bodies would benefit from the Wind Farm Project.
Projected tax revenue for year one (2025):
Dwight High School – $1 million ($11,000 per turbine)
Dwight Grade School – $1.3 million ($14,000 per turbine)
Dwight Fire District – $200,000 ($2,500 per turbine)
Dwight Township Road District – $43,000 ($1,150 per turbine)
Prairie Creek Library – $56,000 ($640 per turbine)
Boundaries of the wind farm were derived based on land owner interest.
Another dynamic in play is proposed State Legislation which would change the zoning authority limits of the County Board. Until that legislation is enacted, Pattern Energy is working under existing rules.
The Board felt it prudent to solicit community and land owner input before acting on the two resolutions. A Special Board Meeting was set for Tuesday January 31 at 6 p.m. Interested parties should attend to provide their respective opinions.
In the regular session of the meeting, the Board voted to extend the New Home Construction Incentive, and two new EMS Paramedics were approved for hire.
Notice: On Tue Jan 31 at 6 pm there will be a Special Meeting of the Dwight Village Board of Trustees to discuss the Proposed Pattern Energy Wind Farm turbines east of Dwight, of which 17 will be set within one and one half miles of the Village Corporate Limits.
Below is a map of the area where the proposed wind turbines will fall within the current restricted area.