Oakwood Hills is a residential village between Cary and Prairie Grove with about 2,000 people.
There is no commercial district to provide sales taxes, so property taxes, state income tax and Motor Fuel Tax revenue sharing, plus vehicle stickers provide the bulk of the town’s revenues.
As with most small villages, officials see more demand for services than they have revenue to provide them.
What Oakwood Hills does have is a location close to both high power electric lines and a gas pipeline.
Those are the two essentials, plus water, to operate an electric generating plant fueled by natural gas.
And such a facility would spin off a continuing stream of revenue to Oakwood Hills.
McHenry County is a part of the Commonwealth Edison service area that has a need for more electric power.
That was made evident by proposals for similar plants near the intersection of Routes 47 and 176 in the late 1990’s. (Remember the “Stop the Stacks” campaign? it was going to draw water from aquifers from which drinking water comes.)
More recently, the City of McHenry has been approached by a petitioner for a facility on Route 31 south of McDonald’s in which electricity would be stored until Com Ed needed to draw from its batteries.
This is the second time Oakwood Hills has seriously considered the idea of a gas fired power plant.
The first time, by the time I got wind of it, promoter Enventure Partners had pulled the plug on the project.
Village President Melanie Funk told me that there will be a 3-9 PM open house at the Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake on Tuesday, July 22nd.
There are two firms courting Oakwood Hills–Enventure (the one for which information was supplied by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to a Freedom of Information request) and Northland Power, a Canadian firm.
Northland Power’s web site shows a base load gas fired plant in North Battleford with the following text:
Northland’s 260 MW, $641 million North Battleford project achieved commercial operations on June 5, 2013 . Construction of the wholly-owned, natural gas-fired baseload facility began in May 2010. The facility, located in west central Saskatchewan, provides power to the Saskatchewan grid under under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SaskPower.
This is Northland’s second operating facility in Saskatchewan. The 86 MW Spy Hill peaking plant near Esterhazy began commercial operations on September 17, 2011 and is selling power to SaskPower under a 25-year PPA.
The addition of North Battleford’s output lifts Northland’s net generation capacity above 1,200 MW for the first time.
A project representative said that needed water would be handled differently than before, that a state-of-the-art design would allow recycling.
Crystal Lake and Prairie Grove waste water plants are both options under consideration at this time.
Prairie Grove has an underutilized sewage treatment plant across from Terra Cotta Industries on Route 31
Crystal Lake has one northwest of Route 176 and Terra Cotta Road
The plan is to purify the water used by the combined cycle electric generating plant before its reuse.
“We are in the information gathering stage,” Fund explained.
Prairie Grove Village Administrator Jeanne Smith said, “We’re aware that the Village of Oakwood Hills is entertaining this development.”
“We just had a meeting with them yesterday,” Crystal Lake Public Works Director Victor Ramirez explained. “We learned about the project. Now we have to evaluate it.”
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Articles from last year:
9-23-14 Firm Planning Peaker Plant in Oakwood Hills
9-25-14 Oakwood Hills Peaker Plant Would Draw Water from Same Ironton-Galesville Sandstone Aquifer Cary Uses
9-30-13 Four Crystal Lake Wells at Depth of Two Peaker Plant Wells
10-1-14 Peaker Plant Wells Would Compete with One in Island Lake
10-2-14 Prairie Grove School Well Would Not Be Affected by Peaker Plant Wells
10-3-13 Engineer Suggests Digging Deeper for Peaker Plant Wells to Avoid Drinking Water Competition
10-4-13 Oakwood Hills Peaker Plant Might Affect Prairie Grove School Well
10-7-13 Oakwood Hills Peaker Plant to Be Discussed Wednesday in County Public Health Committee
10-8-14 McHenry Plans Well Drawing from Aquifer Oakwood Hills Peaker Plant Targeting
10-14-14 Oakwood Hills’ Documents Show Electric Generating Peaker Plant Proceeding Apace
10-21-14 Freedom of Information Requests Reveal Peaker Plant Promoters Terminated Oakwood Hills Project in July