MidAmerican acquires western Illinois wind project

Quad-City Times • Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

MidAmerican Renewables, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., has completed its acquisition of a wind energy project in Henry County, Ill., from Invenergy Wind LLC.

The project, known as Bishop Hill II, is an 81-megawatt wind farm that is under construction. It will feature 50 General Electric 1.62 megawatt wind turbines.

“The Bishop Hill II wind project demonstrates MidAmerican Renewables’ commitment to environmental respect and renewable energy,” Bill Fehrman, MidAmerican Renewables’ president, said in a news release. “The closing of the Bishop Hill II acquisition adds to our growing portfolio of renewable energy assets.”

MidAmerican Energy Holdings first unveiled the deal in late January.

The announcement came four days before MidAmerican Energy Holdings revealed plans to create the new business, MidAmerican Renewables, to oversee its expansion into the unregulated renewables market. Based in Des Moines, MidAmerican Renewables encompasses MidAmerican Wind LLC, MidAmerican Geothermal LLC, MidAmerican Solar LLC, MidAmerican Hydro LLC and project development and commercial development.

Bishop Hill II is located near Galva, Ill., about 50 miles from the Quad-Cities. Construction on the project began in the fourth quarter of 2011 and it is expected to be in commercial operation by fourth quarter 2012. Bishop Hill I, which also is under construction in Henry County, is expected to be in operation in mid-2012.

“We’re pleased to have completed this transaction with MidAmerican Renewables,” said Jim Murphy, the chief financial officer and chief operating officer of the Chicago-based Invenergy. “We believe MidAmerican Renewables will be an ideal neighbor for Invenergy and the local community hosting the Bishop Hill Wind Energy Center.”

Ameren Illinois will purchase the electricity produced by Bishop Hill II under the terms of a 20-year power purchase agreement.

MidAmerican began building wind energy projects in 2004 with a project in Iowa. The company has built or acquired more than 3,300 megawatts of wind generation. It has invested nearly $6 billion in wind-powered generation with projects in Iowa, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.