Invenergy and WPPI Energy have inaugurated the 132MW Bishop Hill III wind farm, located in Henry County in the US state of Illinois.


Image: Invenergy’s EVP & Chief Commercial Officer Jim Shield (center right) joins WPPI President & CEO Mike Peters (center left) for ceremonial ribbon cutting at Bishop Hill III Wind Energy Center. Photo courtesy of Invenergy.

Construction of the wind farm started last August and the facility started operations in May this year. It has a total of 53 wind turbines that will generate enough clean electricity to be supplied to 46,000 US homes, while offsetting 414,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Last year, WPPI Energy entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Invenergy to buy electricity from the facility through mid-2040.

Through this PPA, WPPI Energy will be able to serve 51 of its member utilities and their customers across the states of Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa.

Invenergy executive vice president and chief commercial officer Jim Shield said: “Invenergy is proud to celebrate the start of operations of the Bishop Hill III wind farm in Henry County, Illinois.

“Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony is an important milestone for the local community, Invenergy’s construction team and operations employees, and our project partners WPPI and WEC Energy Group.”

During the construction phase, the wind farm created 214 jobs and during its operations, it will create a full time staff of five employees. In the next 10 years, the wind farm is expected to contribute more than $20m to the local economy in the form of tax payments, staff salaries, and the purchase of local goods and services.

Invenergy state that it will continue to operate the wind farm under contract with WEC Energy Group, the company which has agreed to acquire a majority interest in the wind farm.

WPPI Energy president and CEO Mike Peters said: “Bishop Hill III is as an excellent addition to our power supply because, not only does it more than double the wind energy in our portfolio, but it is also projected to lower our costs to WPPI Energy members.

“We are pleased to continue our strong, longstanding relationship with our partners in this project.”

The Bishop Hill III wind farm is the third phase of Invenergy’s Bishop Hill Wind Energy Center in Henry County and it follows the 211.4MW Bishop Hill I and 81MW Bishop Hill II wind projects.