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Schools drop plans for wind farm on Osceola Road

Kewanee, Ill. â€“ A consortium formed by three school districts in the Chicago area has dropped plans to build a 13-turbine wind farm in northern Stark County and, instead, buy wind energy produced by Invenergy LLC, at its wind farm near Bishop Hill.

According to an article on the Illinois Wind Energy Association’s news site, plans were discontinued last summer when the consortium could not find a way to finance the project without using public funds.

Invenergy proposed a 20-year agreement to add five turbines to its facility currently under construction near Bishop Hill, and sell the energy produced to the consortium. The consortium would pay a fixes rate based on current costs of electricity, then sell the energy produced by the turbines for a profit.

No actual electricity produced by the wind farm will reach the schools, but the alternative revenue source is expected to save the districts about $7 million over the 20 years of the agreement.

The schools involved are Carpentersville Community Unit District 300, Keeneyville Elementary, and Prospect Heights Elementary. The original plan called for a 13-tower wind farm to be built in northern Stark County, along Osceola Road east of Kewanee, with the consortium producing and selling wind energy to offset district debt.

Under the new plan, the consortium will only purchase the energy and sell it, without owning and operating the generating facilities.

The consortium was made possible through 2010 legislation designed to encourage school districts to experiment with renewable energy sources as a means of saving money.