E.ON Climate & Renewables North America (EC&RNA) has entered into separate 18-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with three generation and transmission cooperatives: Prairie Power Inc., the Southern Illinois Power Cooperative and the Wabash Valley Power Association. The three member-owned utilities will be purchasing a total of 40 MW of wind energy from the Pioneer Trail wind farm in Illinois.
The project, expected to begin commercial operation by the end of 2012 and projected to have a nameplate capacity of 150 MW, is owned and operated by a subsidiary of EC&RNA and is located within the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator market. Construction is being done by White Construction.
‘Locally, this project projects to spend more than $29 million in local taxes, paying $8 million in local salaries and more than $50 million to landowners,’ says Steve Trenholm, CEO of EC&RNA. ‘We expect to employ about 200 people during construction and also expect to establish eight to 10 permanent positions for the life of the wind farm.’