State

WPPI Energy to buy electricity from Illinois wind farm

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. – Sun Prairie-based power company WPPI Energy says it will buy all the electricity generated from a proposed Illinois wind farm for the next 22 years.

Chicago-based renewable energy developer Invenergy plans to build the 53-turbine Bishop Hill 3 wind farm, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. It will be able to generate up to 132 megawatts of power in ideal conditions – enough to power as many as 53,000 businesses and homes.

WPPI spokeswoman Anne Rodriguez said the company anticipates the facility would operate at about 50 megawatts on average. Invenergy spokeswoman Mary Ryan said the maximum output will be limited to 119 megawatts because of transmission connection agreements.

“This agreement provides WPPI Energy with a highly cost-effective resource that will more than double the amount of wind energy in our power supply portfolio,” said Mike Peters, WPPI Energy CEO and president.

Ryan said construction on the project is set to begin in the next few months with commercial operations to start by mid-2018. Bishop Hill 3 will be built in northwest Illinois’ Henry County, close to the Bishop Hill 1 and 2 wind farms.

The project’s cost and the financial terms of the WPPI agreement, which runs through mid-2040, weren’t disclosed. WPPI is a nonprofit regional power company serving 51 locally owned electric companies in three states.

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