More Wind Power For The Windy City

Illinois has been a leader in adding wind-power capacity in the last few year. In fact, in 2010, only wind behemoth Texas and its 680 megawatts (MW) topped the Land of Lincoln’s 498 MW of new capacity. And now Illinois is in line for another big boost: Developer E.On and GE have struck a deal under which GE will supply 94 1.6-MW turbines for each of two new wind-power plants E.On is building.

Do that math and that adds up to 300 MW in new capacity from the Settlers Trail and Pioneer Trail wind-power plants. The companies didn’t say when the plants might be ready to produce power, but given that E.On announced in April that it had begun installing the GE turbines at Settlers Trail, it could very well be soon.

Illinois wind-power plant turbines, GE, 1.6 megawatt

image via GE

GE said the 1.6-MW turbine represents an evolution of its 1.5-MW turbine, which it called “the workhorse of the global wind power industry” – a reasonable claim given there are more than 16,000 of the units installed around the world.

The new turbines will spin in an area barely a couple hours by car south of the Chicago megalopolis, in Iroquois and Ford counties. GE said this part of Illinois features good wind but “more importantly, these sites are near existing high-voltage power lines, enabling cost-effective transmission to Chicago and other major Midwestern population centers.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

1 Comment

  • Reply July 8, 2012


    Round houses are better than square ones because you can place round solar panels on the roof. All around the house.

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