SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, a joint-action agency that supplies wholesale electricity to 32 municipal utility systems across Illinois, has entered into a 15-year agreement to purchase 50 megawatts of wind energy output annually from the Green River Wind Farm in Lee and Whiteside counties.

Locally, the agency provides wholesale power to the utility systems of Peru, Oglesby, Princeton and Ladd.

This power purchase agreement will boost the amount of wind-generated energy output that the agency uses to serve its municipal electric systems to 120 megawatts.

Power will begin flowing from the wind farm to the agency once the project is completed, which is anticipated to be in October.

When complete, the 194 megawatt Green River Wind Farm will consist of 74 turbines situated across 13,000 acres in Lee and Whiteside counties. The wind farm is north of Walnut.

“This project is a win for all involved,” says Kevin Gaden, the agency’s president and CEO. “As we continue to diversify our resource portfolio, this project fits our needs to cost effectively add another source of green energy.

“Our portfolio already includes wind-generated power from the Lee-DeKalb Wind Energy Center, two completed solar demonstration projects in St. Charles and Rantoul, three more solar demonstration projects that are under construction in Rock Falls, Naperville and Altamont, and two municipally owned hydroelectric facilities in Rock Falls and Peru. We’re also quite proud that with this purchase we are supporting in-state power generation, just as we do with our other wind farm.”

The agency’s share of the zero-carbon emissions output of the Green River Farm is expected to be enough to power approximately 16,000 typical Illinois homes each year. The purchase agreement will mean that approximately 10 percent of the agency’s electricity comes from renewable sources.

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