Public Act 100-0598
SB2591 EnrolledLRB100 17172 SLF 32327 b
AN ACT concerning agriculture.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
Section 5. The Counties Code is amended by changing Section
5-12020 as follows:
(55 ILCS 5/5-12020)
Sec. 5-12020. Wind farms. Notwithstanding any other
provision of law, a county may establish standards for wind
farms and electric-generating wind devices. The standards may
include, without limitation, the height of the devices and the
number of devices that may be located within a geographic area.
A county may also regulate the siting of wind farms and
electric-generating wind devices in unincorporated areas of
the county outside of the zoning jurisdiction of a municipality
and the 1.5 mile radius surrounding the zoning jurisdiction of
a municipality. There shall be at least one public hearing not
more than 30 days prior to a siting decision by the county
board. Notice of the hearing shall be published in a newspaper
of general circulation in the county. A commercial wind energy
facility owner, as defined in the Renewable Wind Energy
Facilities Agricultural Impact Mitigation Act, must enter into
an agricultural impact mitigation agreement with the
Department of Agriculture prior to the date of the required
public hearing. A commercial wind energy facility owner seeking
an extension of a permit granted by a county prior to July 24,
2015 (the effective date of Public Act 99-132) must enter into
an agricultural impact mitigation agreement with the
Department of Agriculture prior to a decision by the county to
grant the permit extension. Counties may allow test wind towers
to be sited without formal approval by the county board. Any
provision of a county zoning ordinance pertaining to wind farms
that is in effect before August 16, 2007 (the effective date of
Public Act 95-203) may continue in effect notwithstanding any
requirements of this Section.
A county may not require a wind tower or other renewable
energy system that is used exclusively by an end user to be
setback more than 1.1 times the height of the renewable energy
system from the end user's property line.
(Source: P.A. 99-123, eff. 1-1-16; 99-132, eff. 7-24-15;
99-642, eff. 7-28-16.)
Section 10. The Illinois Municipal Code is amended by
changing Section 11-13-26 as follows:
(65 ILCS 5/11-13-26)
Sec. 11-13-26. Wind farms. Notwithstanding any other
provision of law:
(a) A municipality may regulate wind farms and
electric-generating wind devices within its zoning
jurisdiction and within the 1.5 mile radius surrounding its
zoning jurisdiction. There shall be at least one public
hearing not more than 30 days prior to a siting decision by
the corporate authorities of a municipality. Notice of the
hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general
circulation in the municipality. A commercial wind energy
facility owner, as defined in the Renewable Wind Energy
Facilities Agricultural Impact Mitigation Act, must enter
into an agricultural impact mitigation agreement with the
Department of Agriculture prior to the date of the required
public hearing. A commercial wind energy facility owner
seeking an extension of a permit granted by a municipality
prior to July 24, 2015 (the effective date of Public Act
99-132) must enter into an agricultural impact mitigation
agreement with the Department of Agriculture prior to a
decision by the municipality to grant the permit extension.
A municipality may allow test wind towers to be sited
without formal approval by the corporate authorities of the
municipality. Test wind towers must be dismantled within 3
years of installation. For the purposes of this Section,
"test wind towers" are wind towers that are designed solely
to collect wind generation data.
(b) A municipality may not require a wind tower or
other renewable energy system that is used exclusively by
an end user to be setback more than 1.1 times the height of
the renewable energy system from the end user's property
line. A setback requirement imposed by a municipality on a
renewable energy system may not be more restrictive than as
provided under this subsection. This subsection is a
limitation of home rule powers and functions under
subsection (i) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois
Constitution on the concurrent exercise by home rule units
of powers and functions exercised by the State.
(Source: P.A. 99-123, eff. 1-1-16; 99-132, eff. 7-24-15;
99-642, eff. 7-28-16.)
Section 15. The Wind Energy Facilities Agricultural Impact
Mitigation Act is amended by changing Sections 1, 5, 10, and 15
as follows:
(505 ILCS 147/1)
Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Renewable
Wind Energy Facilities Agricultural Impact Mitigation Act.
(Source: P.A. 99-132, eff. 7-24-15.)
(505 ILCS 147/5)
Sec. 5. Purpose. The primary purpose of this Act is to
promote the State's welfare by protecting landowners during the
construction and deconstruction of commercial renewable wind
energy facilities.
(Source: P.A. 99-132, eff. 7-24-15.)
(505 ILCS 147/10)
Sec. 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
"Abandonment of a commercial wind energy facility" means
when deconstruction has not been completed within 18 months
after the commercial wind energy facility reaches the end of
its useful life. For purposes of this definition, a commercial
wind energy facility will be presumed to have reached the end
of its useful life if (1) no electricity is generated for a
continuous period of 12 months and (2) the commercial wind
energy facility owner fails, for a period of 6 consecutive
months, to pay the landowner amounts owed in accordance with
the underlying agreement.
"Abandonment of a commercial solar energy facility" means
when deconstruction has not been completed within 12 months
after the commercial solar energy facility reaches the end of
its useful life. For purposes of this definition, a commercial
solar energy facility shall be presumed to have reached the end
of its useful life if the commercial solar energy facility
owner fails, for a period of 6 consecutive months, to pay the
landowner amounts owed in accordance with the underlying
agreement.
"Agricultural impact mitigation agreement" means an
agreement between the commercial wind energy facility owner or
the commercial solar energy facility owner and the Department
of Agriculture described in Section 15 of this Act.
"Commercial renewable energy facility " means a commercial
wind energy facility or commercial solar energy facility as
defined in this Act.
"Commercial solar energy facility" means a solar energy
conversion facility equal to or greater than 500 kilowatts in
total nameplate capacity, including a solar energy conversion
facility seeking an extension of a permit to construct granted
by a county or municipality before the effective date of this
amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly. "Commercial solar
energy facility" does not include a solar energy conversion
facility: (1) for which a permit to construct has been issued
before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th
General Assembly; (2) that is located on land owned by the
commercial solar energy facility owner; (3) that was
constructed before the effective date of this amendatory Act of
the 100th General Assembly; or (4) that is located on the
customer side of the customer's electric meter and is primarily
used to offset that customer's electricity load and is limited
in nameplate capacity to less than or equal to 2,000 kilowatts.
"Commercial solar energy facility owner" means a private
commercial enterprise that owns a commercial solar energy
facility. A commercial solar energy facility owner is not nor
shall it be deemed to be a public utility as defined in the
Public Utilities Act.
"Commercial wind energy facility" means a wind energy
conversion facility of equal or greater than 500 kilowatts in
total nameplate generating capacity. "Commercial wind energy
facility" includes a wind energy conversion facility seeking an
extension of a permit to construct granted by a county or
municipality before the effective date of this Act. "Commercial
wind energy facility" does not include a wind energy conversion
facility: (1) that has submitted a complete permit application
to a county or municipality and for which the hearing on the
completed application has commenced on the date provided in the
public hearing notice, which must be before the effective date
of this Act; (2) for which a permit to construct has been
issued before the effective date of this Act; or (3) that was
constructed before the effective date of this Act.
"Commercial wind energy facility owner" means a private
commercial enterprise that owns or operates a commercial wind
energy facility. A commercial wind energy facility owner is not
nor shall it be deemed to be a public utility as defined in the
Public Utilities Act.
"Construction" means the installation, preparation for
installation, or repair of a commercial renewable wind energy
facility.
"County" means the county where the commercial renewable
wind energy facility is located.
"Deconstruction" means the removal of a commercial
renewable wind energy facility from the property of a landowner
and the restoration of that property as provided in the
agricultural impact mitigation agreement.
"Department" means the Department of Agriculture.
"Landowner" means any person (1) with an ownership interest
in property that is used for agricultural purposes and (2) that
is a party to an underlying agreement.
"Underlying agreement" means the written agreement with a
landowner, including, but not limited to, an easement, option,
lease, or license, under the terms of which another person has
constructed, constructs, or intends to construct a commercial
wind energy facility or commercial solar energy facility on the
property of the landowner.
(Source: P.A. 99-132, eff. 7-24-15.)
(505 ILCS 147/15)
Sec. 15. Agricultural impact mitigation agreement.
(a) A commercial renewable wind energy facility owner of a
commercial wind energy facility or a commercial solar energy
facility that is located on landowner property shall enter into
an agricultural impact mitigation agreement with the
Department outlining construction and deconstruction standards
and policies designed to preserve the integrity of any
agricultural land that is impacted by commercial renewable wind
energy facility construction and deconstruction. The
construction and deconstruction of any commercial solar energy
facility shall be in conformance with the Department's standard
agricultural impact mitigation agreement referenced in
subsection (f) of this Section. Except as provided in
subsection (a-5) of this Section, the terms and conditions of
the Department's standard agricultural impact mitigation
agreement are subject to and may be modified by an underlying
agreement between the landowner and the commercial solar energy
facility owner.
(a-5) Prior to the commencement of construction, a
commercial solar energy facility owner shall submit to the
county in which the commercial solar facility is to be located
a deconstruction plan. A commercial solar energy facility owner
shall provide the county with an appropriate financial
assurance mechanism consistent with the Department's standard
agricultural impact mitigation agreement for and to assure
deconstruction in the event of an abandonment of a commercial
solar energy facility.
(b) The agricultural impact mitigation agreement for a
commercial wind energy facility shall include, but is not
limited to, such items as restoration of agricultural land
affected by construction, deconstruction (including upon
abandonment of a commercial wind energy facility),
construction staging, and storage areas; support structures;
aboveground facilities; guy wires and anchors; underground
cabling depth; topsoil replacement; protection and repair of
agricultural drainage tiles; rock removal; repair of
compaction and rutting; land leveling; prevention of soil
erosion; repair of damaged soil conservation practices;
compensation for damages to private property; clearing of trees
and brush; interference with irrigation systems; access roads;
weed control; pumping of water from open excavations; advance
notice of access to private property; indemnification of
landowners; and deconstruction plans and financial assurance
for deconstruction (including upon abandonment of a commercial
wind energy facility).
(b-5) The agricultural impact mitigation agreement for a
commercial solar energy facility shall include, but is not
limited to, such items as restoration of agricultural land
affected by construction, deconstruction (including upon
abandonment of a commercial solar energy facility); support
structures; aboveground facilities; guy wires and anchors;
underground cabling depth; topsoil removal and replacement;
rerouting and permanent repair of agricultural drainage tiles;
rock removal; repair of compaction and rutting; construction
during wet weather; land leveling; prevention of soil erosion;
repair of damaged soil conservation practices; compensation
for damages to private property; clearing of trees and brush;
access roads; weed control; advance notice of access to private
property; indemnification of landowners; and deconstruction
plans and financial assurance for deconstruction (including
upon abandonment of a commercial solar energy facility). The
commercial solar energy facility owner shall enter into one
agricultural impact mitigation agreement for each commercial
solar energy facility.
(c) For commercial wind energy facility owners seeking a
permit from a county or municipality for the construction of a
commercial wind energy facility, the agricultural impact
mitigation agreement shall be entered into prior to the public
hearing required prior to a siting decision of a county or
municipality regarding the commercial wind energy facility.
The agricultural impact mitigation agreement is binding on any
subsequent commercial wind energy facility owner that takes
ownership of the commercial wind energy facility that is the
subject of the agreement.
(c-5) A commercial solar energy facility owner shall, not
less than 45 days prior to commencement of actual construction,
submit to the Department a standard agricultural impact
mitigation agreement as referenced in subsection (f) of this
Section signed by the commercial solar energy facility owner
and including all information required by the Department. The
commercial solar energy facility owner shall provide either a
copy of that submitted agreement or a copy of the fully
executed project-specific agricultural impact mitigation
agreement to the landowner not less than 30 days prior to the
commencement of construction. The agricultural impact
mitigation agreement is binding on any subsequent commercial
solar energy facility owner that takes ownership of the
commercial solar energy facility that is the subject of the
agreement.
(d) If a commercial renewable wind energy facility owner
seeks an extension of a permit granted by a county or
municipality for the construction of a commercial wind energy
facility prior to the effective date of this Act, the
agricultural impact mitigation agreement shall be entered into
prior to a decision by the county or municipality to grant the
permit extension.
(e) The Department may shall adopt rules that are necessary
and appropriate for the implementation and administration of
agricultural impact mitigation agreements as required under
this Act.
(f) The Department shall make available on its website a
standard agricultural impact mitigation agreement applicable
to all commercial solar energy facilities within 60 days after
the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General
Assembly.
(g) Nothing in this amendatory Act of the 100th General
Assembly and nothing in an agricultural impact mitigation
agreement shall be construed to apply to or otherwise impair an
underlying agreement for a commercial solar energy facility
entered into prior to the effective date of this amendatory Act
of the 100th General Assembly.
(Source: P.A. 99-132, eff. 7-24-15.)
Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.