BISHOP HILL -- The 200-megawatt Bishop Hill Wind Energy farm began full commercial operations last week, according to owner Invenergy Wind LLC.|
Power from the 133 wind turbines scattered around 22,000 acres of farm land is being purchased by the Tennessee Valley Authority and is sufficient to meet the needs of approximately 120,000 homes.
Even as it announced completion of the wind farm, Invenergy said it is developing a third phase featuring 83 turbines. Other than saying the farm would be in Henry County, Invenergy declined to provide further details.
A second phase of Bishop Hill was developed by Invenergy, then sold in March by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, which is completing construction.
Tax money from the first of the wind farms to go into operation is expected to be a major boost for Henry County and various of its governmental units.
The county, which took in more than $1.2 million in building permits during construction, estimates each turbine will generate between $7,000 and $8,000 annually in property taxes, to be distributed among taxing districts.
Cambridge school superintendent Tom Akers said he hasn't heard yet how much revenue the district will pull in, but he said it will blunt the impact of state budget cuts on the school district, and means teacher layoffs are unlikely.
"It helps us tremendously," he said.
Henry County Board chairman Tim Wells said Henry County is one of the greener counties, and with three percent of the nation's energy coming from wind, he couldn't be any prouder of Henry County with its 133 turbines and two ethanol plants.
"The idea of wind revenue has been working very well for us," he said. "We've been using that revenue as a bridge for what the state doesn't send us."
Opponents of the project seemingly have resigned themselves.
Beth Magnuson of Windy Corner Farm in Bishop Hill said "We may have gained something, but I think we've lost a little of our ambiance ... the quiet nature of the village," she said.
Ms. Magnuson said she used to take "long sweeping (camera) shots" of the landscape coming into town and now she can't take any that don't have turbines in them.
"Invenergy is proud that the Bishop Hill Wind farm is generating a new source of renewable energy here in our home state of Illinois," said Jim Shield, Chief Development Officer of Chicago-based Invenergy.
Invenergy and its affiliated companies operate in North America and Europe. It bills itself as the the nation's largest independent wind power generation company,
Moline, IL Details
|(More Print Ads)|