PITTSFIELD – Construction of a wind energy project that will produce enough electricity to power almost 20,000 houses will move forward near Pittsfield.
Boise, Idaho-based Illinois Winds LLC said an agreement has been reached with Prairie Power for the purchase of all of the power generated by the Panther Creek wind project for 20 years. It also has inked an agreement to connect to the distribution system.
Prairie Power is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative headquartered in Springfield. Through its 10 electric distribution cooperatives, it provides power to about 78,000 members in central Illinois. It buys wind-generated energy through several companies and also has developed two 500-kilowatt community-based solar projects.
The Panther Creek wind project will generate 44 megawatts through 16 turbines being built on private agricultural land. Construction is expected by mid-2022, according to an Illinois Winds spokesman.
“The finalization of the interconnection and power purchase agreements with Prairie Power is an important milestone for this project, and we look forward to working with Prairie Power for many years to come,” Illinois Winds President Rick Koebbe said.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has set a goal of having 25% of the state’s power generated by renewable energy sources by 2025 and 100% by 2050.
Illinois Electric Cooperative in Winchester is part of Prairie Power and provides electricity to customers in Scott, Morgan, Greene, Pike and Calhoun counties.
Manager Randy Long said the cooperative has supported the Panther Creek wind project and was pleased to see it becoming a reality.
“Together with our renewable generation solar farm south of Winchester, Illinois Electric’s consumers will continue to experience the benefits of carbon-free electric energy,” he said.
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