MidAmerican completes 81-MW wind project in Illinois

A MidAmerican Energy Holdings (MAEH) subsidiary has completed construction of an 81-MW wind power project, the Bishop Hill facility in Henry County, Ill.

MidAmerican Renewables said Dec. 10 that the facility located near, Galva, Ill., and 40 miles northwest of Peoria has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Ameren (NYSE: AEE) in Illinois.

MidAmerican purchased the rights to Bishop Hill II this spring, buying it from Invenergy.

The Illinois state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) was first enacted in 2007, requiring investor-owned electric utilities, and later alternative retail electric suppliers, to generate 25% of their 2025 electricity from renewable resources, according to an American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) fact sheet. The Illinois RPS remains one of the strongest state standards in the country, AWEA said.

The project is part of MidAmerican Wind’s portfolio, which includes the 168-MW Pinyon Pines Wind I and the 132-MW Pinyon Pines Wind II projects, formerly known as Alta Wind VII and Alta Wind IX, which are located near Tehachapi, Calif.

The Bishop Hill II project features 50 General Electric 1.62-MW wind turbines.

“The Bishop Hill II wind project demonstrates MidAmerican Wind’s commitment to renewable energy and environmental respect,” said Tom Budler, president, MidAmerican Wind. “Construction of the Bishop Hill II wind project began nearly one year ago. We’re pleased to announce that we met all our goals for building the project and it is now generating renewable energy for the region,” Budler said in a news release.

The MidAmerican renewable subsidiary is also developing a trio of new wind projects in Iowa, the company said in a November filing.

Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy Holdings is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A, BRK-B).

A number of wind energy projects are coming online during the fourth quarter of 2012 as developers face the looming Dec. 31 expiration of the production tax credit (PTC). The Western Governors Association recently called for renewal of the tax credit, AWEA said in a statement.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.