Wind Power | White Oak Wind Farm, Illinois

The White Oak wind farm, a $250 million project, is coming up along the McLean-Woodford County lines in Illinois, USA. The 100-turbine wind farm will be located on farmland in McLean County in central Illinois. This is a project that has been in the works for a number of years now and has, at times, been controversial with opposition coming up against the idea at the start.

The White Oak wind farm is being developed by Chicago-based Invenergy LLC -the sixth largest owner of wind generation assets in the United States according to the American Wind Energy Association. The White Oak facility has been in the planning process and disputes for several years. The company reached an out-of-court settlement in October 2008. Construction has begun in August 2010. The wind farm is expected to have an operational start in the spring of 2011.

White Oak will have a total of one hundred General Electric 1.5-megawatt turbines. The electricity generated by each turbine will be carried in cables and interconnected with a medium voltage power collection system and communications network. At a substation, this medium-voltage electrical current will be increased in high voltage by step-up transformer and connected to the high voltage transmission system. The design and construction of access roads, foundations, and the erection of the turbines is being done by its contractor Minnesota Company -Mortenson Construction.

The wind farm is likely to be commissioned in 2011. It will provide 150 megawatts of electricity to 45000 homes. The company has a contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority for purchase of the electricity produced by the wind farm.

With Illinois’ robust wind resources, evolved transmission system, and progressive public policy, Illinois has seen growing interest in the use of wind power for electrical generation. The White Oak wind farm project marks another significant step for the state leading the way in renewable energy. When commissioned next year, the wind farm will add 150 megawatts of energy to Illinois’ existing 2,000 megawatt wind generating capacity.

The wind farm is expected to bring in over $800,000 per year in tax revenue with wind companies paying anywhere between $12,000 and $16,000 in taxes per turbine for each year of operation.

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