The Blooming Grove wind farm is expected to come online by the end of this year and will generate enough clean energy to power 69,000 US homes

WEC Energy

WEC acquires stake in Illinois wind project. (Credit: Pixabay/InspiredImages)

WEC Energy Group, a Milwaukee-based energy company, has agreed to acquire a 80% stake in the 250MW Blooming Grove wind farm located in McLean County, for a total of $345m.

Commercial operation of the Blooming Grove wind farm is expected to take place by the end of this year. The wind farm, which is being developed Invenergy,  will be powered by 94 of GE’s wind turbines. The energy from the wind farm is enough to power 69,000 average US households.

The construction phase of Blooming Grove could generate 500 jobs

Full construction on the wind project is expected to begin this spring and during the construction phase, it could create nearly 500 jobs. When operational, the wind farm is expected to pay $119m to the local community in the form of property taxes and land payments and local wages and benefits.

The wind farm is supported by long-term offtake agreements for all the energy generated with affiliates of two investment grade multinational companies.

WEC Energy Group executive chairman Gale Klappa said: “This is the latest in a series of investments that fit exceptionally well with our strategy of deploying capital in renewable energy assets that will serve strong, vibrant companies for years to come.”

WEC Energy stated that under the tax rules, its investment in the wind farm could be eligible for 100% bonus depreciation and production tax credits.

The completion of the transaction is subject to receiving regulatory approvals.

Last September, WEC Energy agreed to acquire a 80% stake in the 300MW Thunderhead Wind Energy Center located in Antelope and Wheeler counties, Nebraska. The wind farm’s operations were expected to begin by the end of this year.

WEC has agreed to pay a total of $338m for the 80% stake in the wind farm, which will be powered by 108 of GE’s wind turbines. The power generated by the wind farm will be sold to a Fortune 100 company under a long-term offtake agreement.