Residents with an interest in the City’s developing an off-shore wind farm and the knowledge or expertise to go with it may wish to apply to be a member of a new wind farm review committee.

A request for proposals to develop an off-shore wind farm issued earlier this year resulted in two responses, but neither company had experience in building off-shore wind farms. City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz proposed appointing a committee to review those responses. The committee he had in mind would have had representatives from Northwestern University, the City’s Utilities Commission (formerly the Energy Commission), Citizens Greener Evanston and the Chamber of Commerce.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, however, said at the Dec. 6 Rules Committee meeting she thought the committee’s composition should be farther-reaching and include people in the community. “There’s an opportunity here to get some real fresh ideas,” she said.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, said she agreed. “I’d like to see a committee very much like the Mayor’s blue ribbon committee on the police and firefighters pensions,” she said. I would like to see us go very carefully. … We need technical know-how and practical know-how.”

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, said, “It’s important that the review committee include people who’ve gotten us here so far. … I’d like to see some continuity.”

Fourth Ward Alderman Donald Wilson said the two submitted proposals “did not to me rise to the level of being proposals that we can take concrete action on – they were concepts.”

“And that may be the conclusion of the committee,” said Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

All Council members present agreed that a “next step” should be taken.” Residents can look forward to a request from Mayor Tisdahl to get their heads together as members of the wind-farm review committee.

Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...