200-MW wind farm in Illinois now operational

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EDP Renewables’ 200-MW Harvest Ridge Wind Farm has finished construction and is now fully operational and producing clean electricity in Douglas County, Illinois.

“I’ve worked on four of EDPR’s wind farms in Illinois and have seen the benefits we bring to the communities who host our projects,” said Mike Duffy, who recently moved to Douglas County to work as the Lead Technician at the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm. “Harvest Ridge will contribute more than $2 million dollars in taxes each year to support local public services including the Villa Grove school district where my kid attends. These are real dollars that make a real impact, and I’m proud to be a part of bringing this clean energy opportunity to the area.”

Harvest Ridge Wind Farm will provide numerous benefits to Douglas County and its local communities. Over the life of the project, Harvest Ridge will contribute up to $50 million in taxes to support local public services such as schools, roads, fire districts, libraries and others. The wind farm will also provide a stable form of income to local landowners who have leased land to EDPR to host the wind farm infrastructure. More than 250 people worked on the construction of the wind farm, and 10 full-time employees will continue to operate and maintain the turbines throughout the project’s lifecycle.

In addition to boosting the local economy, Harvest Ridge will positively contribute to the environment by saving more than 355 million gallons of water each year and displacing carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants, which are a major contributor to climate change.

Through long-term power purchase agreements (PPA), Wabash Valley Power Alliance (WVPA), Walmart, and a private offtaker purchase 100 MW, 50 MW, and 50 MW, respectively, of the wind farm’s capacity.

“The acquisition of this 100 MW share of the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm allows Wabash Valley Power Alliance to further enable the production and development of renewable energy,” said WVPA’s Executive Vice President of Risk and Resource, Lee Wilmes. “For many of us in the industry, alternative energy is no longer an alternative. EDPR has been an important partner to WVPA and our membership in diversifying our power supply while creating opportunities for companies to purchase green power.”

“Walmart has a goal to be supplied by 100% renewable energy and sourcing energy from wind farms developed by partners like EDP Renewables is a core component in the mix,” said Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart. “Wind energy is an important part of our energy portfolio, and Walmart plans to continue our efforts to pursue renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business, and the environment.”

Over the next several months and while the wind farm produces clean energy, the construction efforts will continue and will be focused on road repairs and other land restoration work. Building the wind farm required dozens of subcontractors including many local businesses.

“It’s exciting to see the wind farm up and running,” stated Brian Moody, the Executive Director of the Tuscola Chamber & Economic Development. “These projects don’t just happen every day. It was an impressive construction effort that has benefited our local trades, businesses, hotels and restaurants. This economic activity was especially welcome given the negative impact that COVID-19 is raging on our economy.”

EDP Renewables is the largest owner and operator of wind farms in Illinois with 1,201 MW of operating capacity. In addition to Harvest Ridge, EDPR’s footprint includes the 205 MW Bright Stalk Wind Farm in McLean County, the 100 MW Rail Splitter Wind Farm in Tazewell and Logan Counties, the 300 MW Top Crop Wind Farm in LaSalle and Grundy Counties, and the 398 MW Twin Groves Wind Farm in McLean County. Collectively, EDPR’s seven operational Illinois wind farms represent an estimated capital investment of approximately $2.3 billion and $1.5 billion spent in the state through the end of last year. Through 2019, the projects have also distributed $66.8 million to local governments and $75.8 million to local landowners.

News item from EDP

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via Windpower Engineering & Development

July 30, 2020 at 05:55PM

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