News today that the Evanston City Council is considering a wind farm along the shores of Lake Michigan has many people discussing the aesthetics of wind turbines in the Chicago area.
Less than a year ago a wind turbine nearly 200 feet tall was erected near the city of Woodstock without much ballyhoo. It is interesting how little conversation the single wind turbine has generated among residents of McHenry County. How residents of Evanston will feel about the proposed wind farm with perhaps dozens of turbines has yet to be determined.
A story in today’s Chicago Tribune said Evanston officials are bracing for controversy.
Lisa Linowes, executive director of the New Hampshire-based Industrial Wind Action Group, is quoted in the story as saying: “These towers look like clutter on the horizon, there’s no getting around that.”
Robert Retzlaff said he looks at a wind turbine every day.
“Some people are old school and they feel [the wind turbine in Woodstock] is an eyesore,” said Retzlaff, who lives in Woodstock Commons, an apartment complex near the intersection of U.S. Highway 14 and Illinois Highway 47.
Retzlaff, a U.S. Army veteran who also works as a maintenance technician at the apartment complex where he lives, said he has plenty of opportunity to look at the big windmill that dominates the skyline in the southern part of town.
He said he enjoys photographing it and staring at it while listening to music. He said he finds the motion of the turbine’s blades relaxing.
“I think we’re heading in the right direction, saving energy,” he said.
The turbine near Woodstock is owned by Other World Computing. According to OWC literature, the company prides itself for “being green” and paid $1.25 million to build the structure, which was completed in October.
An OWC employee said the turbine generates 30 percent more electricity than is needed to run the company’s 37,000-square-foot headquarters. Extra wattage is routed to ComEd.
The lead of the wind farm story in today’s Chicago Tribune reads:
If some Evanston officials have their way, dozens of giant wind turbines one day could tower above the waves of Lake Michigan several miles off shore, generating enough electricity to power the city’s 30,000 homes.
Dipping a toe into these untested and potentially stormy waters, the City Council on Tuesday night voted 9-0 to ask developers to submit their ideas about building the massive turbines.
To read the whole story click here.