About The Project
Invenergy began development of the McLean County Wind Energy Center in 2015 with the goal to begin construction in 2018 or 2019.
In December 2017, we submitted a Special Use Permit (SUP) application with McLean County and will begin a series of public hearings on the project. In addition to permitting, our efforts are focused on reaching out to local landowners and continuing to study the wind speed and direction through our five operating meteorological towers to ensure we fully understand our resource as we develop our site design. Additionally, we are finalizing our wildlife and wetlands studies.
During the life of the project, McLean County Wind Energy Center is projected to pay millions of dollars in property taxes, lease payments to landowners, salaries to employees, and payments for local goods and services, resulting in a significant increase in economic activity in the McLean County area. Local schools and county infrastructure will benefit from the increase in tax revenue.
An Economic Impact of the McLean Wind Energy Center was commissioned by Invenergy and performed by Dr. David G. Loomis, Professor of Economics at Illinois State University and Director of the Center for Renewable Energy.
Illinois is a national and world leader in wind power generation. 35.8% of the electricity in Illinois is generated by wind - which represents the highest share of wind power generation of any state. Illinois also ranks 5th in the nation for installed wind generation capacity. Illinians' electricity bills have remained well below the national average due to this abundance of wind energy. And Illinois' robust wind industry contributes greatly to the economy - to date, the wind industry has invested more than $8.4 billion into the Illinois economy.
The McLean County Wind Energy Center is an unparalleled development opportunity for McLean County, with millions to be invested in the local economy over the life of the project. We selected McLean County for this project after intense and careful evaluation due to the:
We take our commitment to our local host communities seriously and look forward to continuing to work closely with McLean County, contributing to the area's economic development, and to providing an additional supply of clean, homegrown energy in Illinois.
To avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife and other natural resources, we work with state and federal agencies and other interested stakeholders to site, build, and operate our facilities responsibly. The cornerstone of that effort is our commitment to act in accordance with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines, which includes robust pre-construction wildlife and habitat surveys, early and often communication with wildlife agencies, and operational monitoring to ensure risk to wildlife is minimized.
As required by the Wind Ordinance of the McLean County Code, all County roads and infrastructure will be left in the same or better condition than they were prior to their use for the construction or on-going maintenance and repair of a wind energy project, and that such repairs will be completed at no cost to McLean County.
Wind turbines and access roads have a very small footprint. Approximately 98-99% of land will remain viable for agricultural use, allowing wind energy to support the agricultural industry and landowners to continue farming their land. Invenergy holds itself responsible for preventing soil erosion and for correcting any impact on tillable soil, drain tile, or grasslands that may occur.
The Wind Ordinance of the McLean County Code requires the creation of a Decommissioning Plan and accompanying fund for use in the unlikely event that a wind project must be taken down before the end of its useful life. The establishment of a decommissioning fund ensures that the cost of decommissioning the project would never be borne by the County.