MidAmerican buys Illinois wind farm project

Source: Dan Piller • Des Moines Register • Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company of Des Moines said it will buy the 81-megawatt Bishop Hill II wind project near Peoria, Ill., from Invenergy Wind LLC. This project, which currently is under construction., will use 50 General Electric 1.62-megawatt wind turbines.

Bishop Hill II is expected to be in commercial operation in fourth quarter 2012. Ameren Illinois will purchase the electricity from the project pursuant to the terms of a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Bishop Hill II is the second phase of Invenergy’s Bishop Hill Wind Energy Center. The first phase, Bishop Hill I, also is under construction in Henry County and is due to begin operations in 2012.

“We are pleased to reach this agreement with MidAmerican and look forward to working together to make the Bishop Hill Wind Energy Center the pre-eminent wind project in Illinois,” said Michael Polsky, president and CEO of Invenergy. Invenergy has developed and placed in-service 26 wind farms in North America and Europe.

“Wind energy is a renewable generation source that meets current and future energy needs in an environmentally efficient and cost-effective manner,” said Greg Abel, chairman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company. “The Bishop Hill II wind project fits our model of investing in the renewable energy sector.”

MidAmerican, which is Iowa’s largest electric and gas utility, has built or acquired more than 3,300 megawatts of wind generation. MidAmerican has invested approximately $6 billion in wind-powered generation, with projects in Iowa, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.