DIXON – A Lee County wind farm is looking to expand its footprint.
The 109.5-megawatt Shady Oaks Wind Farm near Compton went online in June 2012 with 71 turbines; now it’s looking to add about 30 turbines in nearby Wyoming Township.
Shady Oaks is part of Oakville, Ontario-based Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.’s Liberty Power Group, which includes more than 1.5 gigawatts of hydroelectric, wind, solar, and thermal power systems.
The company likely will put in a petition for a special use permit to develop new wind turbines in September, Lee County Zoning Administrator Dee Duffy said Tuesday.
Earlier this year, Shady Oaks 2 LLC lined up more than 20 lease agreements and wind easements with landowners in the southeastern area of the county.
In 2013, Algonquin bought Shady Oaks from Goldwind International for $148.9 million. Goldwind acquired the wind farm in 2011 from developer Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power.
Quite a bit of renewable energy traffic has made its way to Lee County in the last year or so, including two wind farms upgrading their fleets of turbines, as well as a new wind farm being developed after years of delays and plans for one of the largest solar farms in the state.
In May, the County Board approved Junction Solar LLC, of Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy, to build a 100-megawatt solar farm on about 760 acres of farmland in Alto and Reynolds townships.
The Green River Wind Farm, also owned by Geronimo, is slated to build 74 turbines by October across Lee and Whiteside counties north of Walnut.
In April, the County Board signed off on the Big Sky Wind Farm’s project to decommission its 58 turbines in southern Lee County near Ohio and replace up to 51 with upgraded models. Last year, the Mendota Hills Wind Farm, the state’s first wind farm built 15 years ago, replaced its 63 turbines with 29 upgraded ones.