The Bennington Wind Farm will consist of up to 35 wind turbines with a total capacity of 98 MW and producing a total of 385 GWhr/year. This is enough to provide the electricity needs of up to 42,000 Illinois homes.
The electricity produced will be put onto the transmission line paralleling Interstate 39. This transmission network feeds several substations within the surrounding communities. Any electricity that is not used locally will be exported to other regions to the economic benefit of the local economy, similar to any other exportable cash crop.
The Bennington Wind Farm will yield significant economic benefits to the community in the form of annual rents to landowners, payment of taxes to the community, and continual local spending.
The project represents a capital investment of over $100 million and is projected to disperse up to $19.0 million in property tax payments to local governments and school districts throughout the life of the project. The project will create hundreds of full-time equivalent jobs during construction as well as several new permanent jobs, which are prime opportunities for local workers to find well-paid and meaningful work.
The conversion of wind energy into electricity produces zero emissions, unlike traditional sources of electricity generation, which contributes to cleaner air and less greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
Additionally, traditional electric power production is the biggest use of water in the USA, with the cooling process at coal, natural gas, and nuclear project consuming the largest share of this important resource. As a better method for producing electricity, this wind energy project will save millions of gallons of water every year.
This project provides an opportunity for the Toluca area, a town with a strong historical connection to coal, to harness its wind resources and benefit from the new future of U.S. energy.
The most comprehensive study to date, published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2015 by researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Texas A&M University and San Diego State University, and involving data from more than 50,000 home sales among 27 counties in nine U.S. states concludes: “We find no statistical evidence that home values near turbines were affected in the turbine post-construction or post-announcement/pre-construction periods.”
Alternatively, wind projects bring substantial new revenue that can be used to improve local schools and help keep local taxes low, two of important factors influencing home values.
This question is frequently asked and studied, with recent studies drawing the same conclusions. For example, https://www.hutchnews.com/
Each wind turbine site utilizes less than one acre of land and is designed to mitigate any impacts to farming operations. The project provides dependable income for the landowners and farmers, which helps them preserve and protect their land for future generations.
According to a Maine CDC study, wind turbines produce very low noise levels, comparable to a typical living room or quiet, air-conditioned office. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reported that “No clear or consistent association is seen between noise from wind turbines and any reported disease or other indicator of harm to human health." The wind farm will need to adhere to the detailed noise standards outlined by the Illinois Pollution Control Board, which sets strict limits for the allowable noise in each octave band.
Studies and government health organizations around the world have given wind a clean bill of health. For example, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study reported that “No clear or consistent association is seen between noise from wind turbines and any reported disease or other indicator of harm to human health.”
Alternatively, wind energy emits virtually no air or water pollution, which is essential to reducing energy-sector public health impacts.
For more information about the impacts of wind energy, check out The Truth About Wind Power (https://www.aweablog.org/the-truth-about-wind-power/)