The Top Crop Wind Farm, 600 megawatt project, is a four-phase project using standard wind turbines to convert wind power into wind energy. The wind farm is located in parts of Grundy, Livingston and LaSalle Counties, Illinois, USA.
Top Crop I, the first phase of the project, has an installed capacity of 102 MW – enough to power approximately 31,000 average Illinois homes with clean energy each year. Top Crop I, which consists of 68 GE sle 1.5 MW turbines, achieved commercial operation in October 2009, making use of the winds that blow over the Illinois Cayuga Ridge are converted into clean electricity.
Top Crop II is the second phase of construction of the four-phase, 600 megawatt project. It is a $420 million project. Phase 2 is located entirely in Grundy County, and includes 132 GE 1.5 megawatt turbines. Construction began in February’2010. The installations are expectations to finish by 2010 end. Top Crop II will generate 198 megawatt of electricity. Yearly estimated production would be 495 GW.h for an equivalent of 2500 hours of full load / year. When ready to run, Phase 2 will produce enough clean electricity to power 60,000 homes.
Stages 3 and 4 will expand the project further south into Livingston County. Plans for Phases 3 and 4 calls for construction to get under way in 2011-2012. The name of the project, Top Crop, recognizes the quality of the corn-producing counties in which the wind farms are being constructed.
Horizon Wind Energy LLC (“Horizon”) is the developer, operator and proprietor of Top Crop Wind Farm. Horizon has more megawatts installed in Illinois than any other developer.
Horizon develops, constructs, owns and operates wind farms throughout North America and the company has developed over 20 wind farms across the United States with more than 3,400 megawatts (MW) and operates over 2,800 MW of wind farms. Horizon is owned by EDP Renewable of Portugal, a global leader in the renewable energy sector and the world’s third largest wind energy producer.
When all the four project phases of Top Crop Wind Farm project are completed, Horizon expects to produce enough electricity to power 180,000 homes. The electricity generated by the wind farm will be sold into the regional wholesale market. The associated carbon credits would be traded to reduce the environmental impact.