Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB1469
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Full Text of SB1469  98th General Assembly


Sen. John M. Sullivan

Filed: 3/12/2013





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 1469 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Wind
5Energy Facilities Construction and Deconstruction Act.
6    Section 5. Purposes. The primary purposes of this Act are
7to promote the State's welfare by protecting landowners during
8the construction and deconstruction of commercial wind energy
10    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
11    "Commercial wind energy facility" means a wind energy
12conversion facility of equal or greater than 500 kilowatts in
13total nameplate generating capacity.
14    "Commission" means the Illinois Commerce Commission.
15    "Commercial wind energy operator" means a private



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1commercial enterprise that owns or operates a wind energy
2facility of equal to or greater than 500 kilowatts in total
3nameplate capacity.
4    "Department" means the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
5    "Deconstruction" means the removal of a wind energy
6generation facility from the property of a landowner and the
7restoration of that property to the condition in which it
8existed immediately before the construction of the wind energy
9facility including, but not limited to, the restoration of the
10topography of the property to its condition before construction
11provided, however, that foundations, pads, electrical lines,
12and any other underground facility must be removed to a depth
13of 5 feet below the surface of the ground.
14    "Landowner" means any person with an ownership interest in
15property (i) that is used for agricultural purposes and (ii)
16that is party to an underlying agreement.
17    "Underlying agreement" means the written or oral agreement
18with a landowner including, but not limited to, an easement,
19option, lease, or license, under the terms of which another
20person has constructed, constructs, or intends to construct a
21commercial wind energy facility on the property of the
23    "Wind turbine" means a wind turbine of equal to or greater
24than 500 kilowatts in total nameplate generating capacity.
25    "Wind turbine tower height" means the distance from the
26wind turbine rotor blade at its highest point to the top



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1surface of the wind turbine foundation.
2    Section 15. Construction activities.
3    (a) A commercial wind energy operator that is the owner of
4a commercial wind energy facility located on land owned by
5another person or entity shall enter into an agricultural
6impact mitigation agreement with the Department outlining
7construction standards and policies designed to preserve the
8integrity of any agricultural land that is impacted by
9commercial wind energy facility construction. The agricultural
10impact mitigation agreement shall address such items as access
11roads, construction staging and storage areas, excavation and
12backfill, protection of agricultural drainage tiles, wind
13turbine foundations, wind turbine erection, restoration of
14agricultural land affected by all construction,
15indemnification of landowners, monitoring, and remediation.
16    (b) The agricultural impact mitigation agreement shall be
17entered into prior to the construction of the commercial wind
18energy facility. The agricultural impact mitigation agreement
19is binding on any subsequent wind energy operator that takes
20ownership of the commercial wind energy facility that is the
21subject of the agreement. The agricultural impact mitigation
22agreement is not required for commercial wind energy facilities
23already constructed or properly permitted or sited by decision
24of a county or municipality made prior to the effective date of
25this Act.



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1    (c) The Department shall adopt rules that are necessary and
2appropriate for the implementation and administration of
3agricultural impact mitigation agreements as required under
4this Act.
5    Section 20. Deconstruction activities.
6    (a) The commercial wind energy operator is responsible for
7deconstruction of the commercial wind energy facility and for
8all costs associated with deconstruction of that facility and
9associated facilities.
10    (b) A commercial wind energy facility is presumed to be at
11the end of its useful life if (i) the commercial wind energy
12operator fails, for a period of 12 consecutive months, to
13operate a commercial wind facility or wind turbine for the
14purpose of which it was designed and installed and (ii) the
15commercial wind energy operator fails, for a period of 6
16consecutive months, to pay the landowner moneys owed to him or
17her in accordance with the underlying agreement.
18    (c) The commercial wind energy operator shall begin
19deconstruction of the commercial wind energy facility within 8
20months after the time the facility or turbine reaches the end
21of its useful life. Deconstruction must be completed within 18
22months after the commercial wind energy facility reaches the
23end of its useful life.
24    (d) Commercial wind energy operators of commercial wind
25energy facilities not properly sited or permitted by decision



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1of a county or municipality prior to the effective date of this
2Act shall file with the Commission a plan detailing the
3estimated deconstruction cost per turbine, in current dollars
4at the time of filing, for the proposed commercial wind energy
5conversion facility. The plan shall be prepared by an
6independent third party at the commercial wind energy
7operator's expense. The plan must also include a comprehensive
8detailed description describing how the commercial wind energy
9operator plans to pay for the deconstruction of the commercial
10wind energy facility. The Commission may at any time after the
11construction of the commercial wind energy facility require the
12commercial wind energy operator to file a report to the
13Commission describing how the operator is fulfilling its
14obligations under this Section.
15    (e) The Commission shall require the commercial wind energy
16operator to secure a performance bond, surety bond, letter of
17credit, corporate guarantee, or other form of financial
18assurance that is acceptable to the Commission to cover the
19anticipated costs of deconstruction of the commercial wind
20energy facility or turbine. In determining the anticipated
21costs of deconstruction, the Commission shall take into
22account, among other things, the information provided under
23subsection (d), the number of wind turbines and related
24commercial wind energy facilities involved, the original
25construction costs of the commercial wind energy facilities,
26the size and capacity of the wind turbines, and the



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1construction method and techniques for the turbines and other
2commercial wind energy facilities. The Commission will
3reevaluate the anticipated costs of deconstruction every 5
4years after its initial assessment or if there is a change in
5commercial wind energy operator for a particular commercial
6wind energy facility, and based on that reevaluation require
7changes in the level of financial assurance required from the
8commercial wind energy operator.
9    (f) If the commercial wind energy operator does not
10complete deconstruction, the Commission may take such action as
11necessary to complete deconstruction, including drawing upon
12the financial assurance required in subsection (d). The entry
13into an underlying agreement shall constitute agreement and
14consent of the parties to the agreement and their respective
15heirs, successors, and assigns that the Commission may take
16such action as may be necessary for the deconstruction of the
17commercial wind energy facility or wind turbine, including the
18exercise by the Commission, Commission staff, and its
19contractors of the right of ingress and egress for the purpose
20of deconstruction of the commercial wind energy facility.
21    (g) If there is a change in ownership of the wind energy
22facility, the commercial wind energy operator assuming
23ownership of the facility shall provide notice to the
24Commission of such change and the existing financial assurance
25requirements for the facility as required in subsection (e)
26will apply to the new operator.



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1    (h) The Commission shall adopt rules that are necessary and
2appropriate for the implementation and administration of
3deconstruction activities as required under this Act.
4    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
5becoming law.".