EDF acquires most of Pilot Hill Wind Project in Illinois

EDF Renewable Energy announced July 15 that it has secured a 96% stake in the 175-MW Pilot Hill Wind Project (formerly known as K4) from Orion Energy Group LLC and Vision Energy LLC.

The project benefits from a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Microsoft Corp., EDF noted.

Pilot Hill, located 60 miles southwest of Chicago in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, will consist of wind turbines supplied by General Electric and Vestas. The project is situated on the same electric grid that powers Microsoft’s Chicago-area datacenter. Physical construction on site is to commence shortly with commercial operation anticipated during the first quarter of 2015.

“EDF Renewable Energy is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Microsoft on the Pilot Hill Wind Project, as well as to have closed our first transaction with Orion Energy Group and Vision Energy,” said Ryan Pfaff, Executive Vice President for EDF Renewable Energy. “The participation of companies like Microsoft in renewable energy generation projects points to a growing trend of ‘blue chip’ organizations taking charge of their energy destiny by procuring directly, with a focus on both reducing their carbon footprint and controlling long-term energy costs.”

“The Pilot Hill Wind Project is important to Microsoft because it helps solidify our commitment to taking significant action to shape our energy future by developing clean, low-cost sources to meet our energy needs,” said Brian Janous, Director of Energy Strategy for Microsoft. “Microsoft is focused on transforming the energy supply chain for cloud services from the power plant to the chip. Long term commitments like Pilot Hill help ensure a cleaner grid to supply energy to our datacenters.”

“Orion’s partnership with Microsoft and EDF Renewable Energy is a tremendous step forward for the entire project team that has worked tirelessly to make the first phase of the Pilot Hill Wind project a reality,” said Ryan McGraw, President of Orion Energy Group.

EDF Renewable Energy is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 5.7 GW of wind, solar, biomass, and biogas projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.