The Citizens Utility Board says an online survey it conducted last week of Illinois residents showed that 69.9 percent of those responding favored the general idea of a wind farm off the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The Citizens Utility Board says an online survey it conducted last week of Illinois residents showed that 69.9 percent of those responding favored the general idea of a wind farm off the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The group says more than 2,000 people responded to the survey. The shore off Evanston is the only site in Illinois currently being promoted as a possible wind farm site in the lake.

An additional 15 percent of the respondents said they’d support a wind farm — but only if it wasn’t visible from the shoreline.

About 5 percent said they thought a wind farm would cost too much and another 4.5 percent said such a project would be an eyesore. The rest said they were unsure about the issue.

Respondents to such surveys, of course, may not be representative of the population at large, especially when, as with the CUB survey, only people who have already expressed an interest in issues like the high cost of energy are invited to participate.

More about the survey on the CUB website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Money tree also popular

    I understand that most residents surveyed are also in favor of planting a magical Money Tree which provide a sustainable income for all citizens of the City of Evanston as well as pay for the Wind Farm and make up for the pension fund shortfall.  The City has formed a special advisory committee which is charged with performing a feasibility analysis of said Money Tree.

  2. Wind farms.

    This would be an amazing opportunity for the City of Evanston. It would create a buzz and truly make us a forward thinking progressive city. It would create jobs that would last. It would drive the cost down of electricity, and create a lasting competitor for ComEd. (if ComEd is smart they will want to capitalize as well) And most of all it’s better for the environment.
    I know and fully understand the deficit this city faces, but there is stimulus and grant money to be had. Here is a quote from MSNBC regarding the Cape Cod project which I will attach a website for:
    The costs will be covered with private funding as well as potentially millions in federal stimulus money and tax credits. Cape Wind is negotiating to sell the electricity generated to a local utility.
    If you travel through Indiana about 2 hours outside of Illinois you literally run right into a huge wind farm that is supplying huge amounts of energy to the citizens of Indiana. We can do that too! 
    Here is a link to the Cape Cod project:
    I know there will be a lot of naysayer’s, and I shouldn’t have used the word “progressive”, but this truly would be great for the city. 
    1. Do not fret Ryan.

      Do not fret Ryan.

      The naysayers will find a hole to punch into your exhuberance and creative thinking no matter how hard you try to appease them.

      I think a wind farm on the lake is a great concept that should be further studied as a real, viable option to ‘dirty’ fuel sources. Thanks for the link to what Cape Cod is undertaking.

      The good news is that it’s a vocal minority of naysayers that populate these comment boards.

      Evanston is a progressive city no matter how much ‘they’ hate the word.

    2. Wind farms

      To wind savants,

      Fret not over financing of the wind farm.

      Why stop at a plastic bag tax (surcharge, fee?). To be very, very, green we shoul add a tax on all processed foods, to pay for sustainable energy sources, as an alternative to grants derived from taxpayer revenues. .

      That should bring in much more revenue. Every time someone shops at MacDonalds, Dunken Donuts, Burger King, Dixie Kitchen, etc. they would help amend for all the Carbon they are generating.

      Of course, there should be exceptions for those who would take their food unprocessed.

      A Department of Sustainable Compliance for Unprocessed Food is a given.

  3. Wind Farm Financing

    A Wind Farm in Lake Michigan will not cost Evanston residents and taxpayers one thin dime… All the financing will be provided by private developer/s who will arrange for financing… and receive all the benefits – The City will not be askd to participate in the financing for this project will receive several economic benefits.

    If you are interested in all the facts please go to link below.

    We also sponsor regular events – just send me your e-mail and I will put you on the invite list.

    Yours sincerely Brian G. Becharas

    Brian G. Becharas

    Energy Education Associates

    619 Oakton St.

    Evanston, IL  60202  USA

    Personal e-Mail:

    Home/office 847.475.0319  Mobile 847.922.1114

    Skype: brian.becharas   e-Fax 847.425.7128 

    Secretary – Citizens for a Greener Evanston, Secretary – Renewable Energy Sub-Committee, Chairman -Transportation Task Force, Chairman of Events – CGE.


  4. Wind Farm Questions

    If Evanston is not going to invest any money in the project how is it going to generate money for the city? Many people mention job creation but what long term jobs will this project support? Is there any guarentee that these employees will actually live in Evanston?

    1. Think utility taxes – Did you

      Think utility taxes – Did you read the FAQ document?  (I didn’t think so)

  5. Wind farms and hot air

    Wind farm fans blowing in the wind

    "Respondents to such surveys, of course, may not be representative of the population at large, especially when, as with the CUB survey, only people who have already expressed an interest in issues like the high cost of energy are invited to participate."

    That says it all. This survey is hot air.


  6. Money Tree and Wind Farm

    Let me know when the money trees are planted.  I probably will because there will be a crowd of people around them as they blossom.

    While driving to Indianapolis I went by a huge wind farm … and the windmills were not moving.  Since it was a very hot summer day, I thought, ‘gee,  if those would only move, they probably could cool off the whole area.’  Wishful thinking.

    Another thought I had was, since that was in a tornado area, those windmills could wind up being lethal weapons.

    My understanding is that they cannot be used for energy if the winds gust up to more tha 40 mph.  Gee whiz, what do you do then.

    If they do decide on a wind farm, I will be OK w/it only if they use the windmill company that developed them in Germany because they rotate in a way that they can catch the wind at any angle…almost 360 degrees.

    The windmills that people are being suckered into now are made, my understanding, by a friend of Nancy Pelosi …

    Follow the money …………….

    btw, Evanston AND Chicago don’t need any windmills … there’s enough hot air from our politician to heat our homes for centuries.


    1. Windbag

      "The windmills that people are being suckered into now are made, my understanding, by a friend of Nancy Pelosi …"

      "My understanding?"

      If you can’t name Nancy P’s "friend," you have no business making such a statement full of hot air.

      1. windbags


        I would assume one of those friends is Al Gore who is making a mint at a venture capitalist firm, Kliener Perkins.

        BTW China is probably the biggest source of wind turbines. Nice source of jobs for US workers.

  7. Windfarm off Evanston’s shore

    CUB’s survey on a windfarm off Evanston’s shore was flawed; it is way too limited and therefore ineffectual. CUB’s follow-up summary’ claim that 70% are in favor of a windfarm in the lake is misleading. In addition, the timing of this survey, by a CUB representative who lives in Evanston, and the dumbing down of key issues when compared to an earlier CUB survey regarding a variety of energy sources (much more balanced survey), raises concerns.

    The City of Evanston’s process for seeking out developers for a large scale, multi-million dollar wind farm off Evanston’s shore was completed earlier this summer. While this survey was being conducted, I spoke, at length, to the person in charge of the survey regarding my concerns. I explained that the survey excluded any questions seeking an opinion on the corporate privatization of public property, any environmental concerns, health concerns, that the wind energy industry is unregulated, etc. I gave him specifics, which include, but is not limited to the following:

    Corporate privatization of public property;

       Planting an industrial facility in the world’s largest reservoir of fresh water

    Environmental concerns; Lake Michigan is the region’s most precious natural resource; drinking water, fishing, boating, tourism, underwater ecology and the appeal of a wide expanse of blue, unblemished by development. At what cost should Lake Michigan be put at further risk?

        Wind turbines potential impact on the coastal erosion of shoreline, lakebed and changing lake water levels.

        Wind turbines leak oil, catch on fire and burn down. Our beaches are already subject to being closed due to pollution.    Wind turbines are a life-threatening hazard to some life forms; the indiscriminate killing of thousands of birds and bats, including endangered species protected by federal law.  The impact of noise and vibrations from wind turbines, traveling under and above water, on the inhabitants in our waters is yet to be determined.

        How does the noise and vibrations from wind turbines, traveling under and above water, disturb Lake Michigan’s life?

        How do offshore wind farms and their effect on local weather and change of surface air temperatures in their vicinity factor in with recent unprecedented extreme weather patterns due to global warming?

    Who is going to foot the bill if something does wrong?

        Offshore wind power all in Europe, started in 1991, is still in its infancy, compared to land-based wind power.  ALL of European wind farms have a multi-million dollar design flaw in their off-shore wind turbines that has caused these offshore wind turbines to slide on their foundation. 

        The wind energy industry is an UNREGULATED INDUSTRY.   Consider the catastrophic problems with REGULATED INDUSTRUIES with very long histories (oil industry with its recent Gulf oil spills and the banking industry with its bailouts) coupled with our federal agency’s lax review process and think then think about the UNREGULATED INDUSTRY of wind energy with no history in the US and just a 19 year history in European waters and that ALL of European off-shore wind farms have a multi-million dollar design flaw…

    1. Wind Farm in Lake Michigan

      I recently attended the Evanston League of Women Voters luncheon where the guest speaker was Mr. Kipniss, an architect. His presentation of the Wind farm was front loaded with lots of slides of all the wonderful green homes he has built, the awful days of waiting in line to fill our cars with gasoline (1973) , pictures of going to war for oil. Then he lowered the boom and showed a slide of a wind farm in Lake Michigan! As if this was our saviour. I don't know how this became a topic to pursue let alone an idea that this would be good for the people of Evanston. I am extremely opposed to this. I don't think the majority of Evanstonians have a clue what our representatives and Citizens for a Greener Evanston are up to.  

  8. Mon. Oct 11th have your voices heard on the windfram in our lake

    On Monday, Oct 11th at 7pm, two wind farm developers will present proposals for their large scale, multi-million dollar wind farm off Evanston’s shore at Evanston’s City Council Meeting.

    It’s also as much about the 1) corporate privatization of public property (Lake Michigan), 2) potential environmental impact on the world’s largest reservoir of fresh water/our drinking water 3) life-threatening hazard to some life forms inhabitants, 4) the multi-million dollar design flaw in all off-shore wind turbines 5) accountability of the unregulated wind energy industry, etc. 

    THE PUBLIC IS WELCOME TO SPEAK, and to do so, you must sign your name, address and topic on a designated sheet.  So comae and have your voice heard. You can also print out copies of what you ant to say and hand it out to the mayor, aldermen and others.

           Monday, Oct 11th at 7pm,
           City Council Meeting (the public can speak!)
           Evanston Civic Center
           2100 Ridge Ave, Evanston

    Off-Grid Technologies proposal:

    Mercury Wind Energy proposal:


    1. Washington to fund our windmills?

      Maybe Obama and Biden will give us $500,000,000 to build the windmills like they gave Solyndra to build a solar panel plant.  They did not do 'due diligence' or listen to their advisers so maybe they will pour the money into Evanston likewise.

      Of course Illinois already got the same type of no questions asked financing for the coal to gas plant.

      I'm sure they got the 'green vote' for trying and now they will give the lawyers lots of money over the lawsuits.


      1. Energy Projects–Costs to Taxpayers and Profits to Investors

        The NYT Nov. 12,2011 has a cautionary article about alternative energy projects that government requires companies to obtain energy from, taxpayers pay higher rates and companies [e.g. Goldman] that invest have no downside to their investment.

        We would do well to consider what is described as well as the CommEd 'smart meters' and cost to taxpayers and whether CommEd stock/bond holders will even have 'skin in the game' or if the state is putting all the risk on rate payers.


  9. Wind and Solar—are they just dreams?

    A recent book 'Superfuel' by Richard Martin briefly goes into the real in-feasibilty of wind and solar to resolve the energy or more accurately 'power' problem.

    He then goes on to show how Thorium [instead of uranium] whoses importance was known long ago but then ignored can resolve many/most of the problems people fear with nuclear energy.  A very good read for how a real energy source can accomplish what the 'naturalists' claim—as is said a technology 20 years off and will be for another 100 years.

  10. Windmill status?

    What has happened with the city's push for windmills ?

    Were they ever serious or was the proposal just an effort roundup 'green votes' for their next election ?

    We seem to get a lot of Council proposals and speeches that they hope get them votes from one block or another and hope those blocks will vote for them but everyone else forget at election time.

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