WIUM Tristates Public Radio

New Illinois Law Helps Wind Farms

Western Illinois – A bill signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will provide some help to a big project in the region.

The bill (House Bill 4797) extends a law that keeps the property tax assessment of wind energy devices uniform across the state. Those special valuation procedures were set to expire next year. Now they instead will expire in 2016.

Kim Pierce, Executive Director of the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation, said this will allow wind farm developers to anticipate their operating costs for the next few years.

"With this being extended finally, I think that's kind of a sigh of relief for all of us who are involved in the development of wind farms in our areas," Pierce said.

One project that could benefit is the Cardinal Point Wind Farm. Pierce said it is being developed by Element Power and will be located in McDonough, Warren and Henderson Counties.

Pierce said there appear to be no snags in gaining approval from each of the three counties and she hopes construction can begin by early next year.

"It is moving forward and pretty much in a positive light," Pierce said.

Pierce said the project will create more than 200 construction jobs. She expects construction to take 12 to 18 months.

Pierce said there will be no more than 20 permanent jobs once the wind farm begins operating.