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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Amazon Wind Farm to create revenue in Benton County

Benton County, Indiana has another wind farm under construction. The Amazon Wind Farm is being built.

After two years of development, farmland will be occupied by 65 turbines west of Fowler, just off State Road 18.

The Amazon Wind Farm entered into a 13-year power purchase agreement to supply electricity for its web services.

150 megawatts is the listed power, which is the equivalent of enough energy for 50,000 households.
The construction phase is set to be completed by the end of the year.

Pattern Energy Engineering manager Brad Hillman said that he cannot comment on the financial agreements they reached with area farmers, but he says the overall boost to the economy is substantial.

Taxes and onsite staff that will work on the site is estimated to generate around $40 million over the next 25 years.

Hillman said farmers benefit from leasing their land for the use of these turbines as well, especially during a rain-filled summer like this year.

Hillman said "It's a great way to create a stable revenue source for farmers who are in a position to have a wind turbine on their land, which is really good for this year because of all the rain we have gotten."

Hillman said it's all about creating a better tomorrow, "to create that environmentally power-friendly generation."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Pilot Hill Wind Farm ready to go

The Pilot Hill Wind Project is under construction and 103 turbines are nearly ready to produce electricity. The 187 megawatt wind farm, near Herscher, will feed the grid at the Commonwealth Edison sub-station in Kankakee.

Pilot Hill is within a month of becoming operational. The 103 turbines cover a 12-mile stretch south of Herscher.

A 10-person work crew will be involved in the operation.

Electricity from the wind farm is being purchased by Microsoft Corporation, which has a 20-year power purchase agreement with EDF Renewable Services.

EDF owns the wind farm property, acquired from the original developers Vision Energy and then Orion Energy.

It was Vision Energy, back in 2007, who first proposed the development. Back then, 300 turbines were planned for a 64-square mile area of four counties – Kankakee, Iroquois, Ford and Livingston. Pilot Hill's footprint today only includes Kankakee and Iroquois.

Another 30 turbines in Norton Township are in the planning stage. They would be part of Kelly Creek Wind Farm, covering northern Ford County.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Illinois crops remain flooded

The rain let up, but it's too late to save some of Illinois' crops.

"When you say 'save'," said USDA Illinois statistician Mark Schleusener, "there are certainly spots within fields – and perhaps some entire fields – that are lost. It's not hard to find what people call the potholes in the field, and they've been underwater for days and weeks, and those plants are dead. Almost every field in Illinois has a little corner or some spot like that."

Fifteen percent of corn and 19 percent of soybeans are in poor to very poor condition. Only about half the corn and soybean crops are in good to excellent condition.

The progress report shows 32 percent of corn in the dough stage, and 31 percent of soybeans are setting pods.

Dave Dahl, IL Radio Network
Filed Under: Agribusiness, State News

  • Parent Category: News

Damage assessments begin in Watseka, FEMA guidelines to be followed

Watseka residents are being reminded that local permits are required before rebuilding or repairing flood-damaged structures.

The building permits are available at no charge to flood victims, but they must be in place before any repairs or rebuilding takes place, according to Code Enforcement Officer Tom Webster.

The permits are required as part of the city's government participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Special conditions apply including the 50% rule, that's 50 percent or more of the structure's pre-flood market value. Property owners with flood insurance need to contact their insurance carrier, and if you're renting contact your landlord.

Questions can be directed to the Code Enforcement Office at 815-432-2711 during regular business hours.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Miner Foundation makes $100,000 donation to Kankakee arts

The late Harold and Jean Miner of Watseka continue to give. This time it's the city of Kankakee benefitting.

The Miner Foundation has made a $100,000 donation to improve the arts in Kankakee. A permanent stage will be built near the historic railroad depot, adding to the setting for the annual musical festival.

Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein says it's a wonderful gift to the city.

"This contribution from the Miner Charitable Foundation will allow us to make a big improvement; to building a stage for performers. We will rename the park Festival Park," Epstein said.

The stage "On the Hill" was one of the performing areas for the Merchant Street MusicFest. The new stage, there, will be named for the late Harold & Jean Miner.

The stage will be built this fall, probably in September. A formal dedication may be held in the spring of 2016.

94.1 WGFA