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Zilkha Renewable Energy Plans 400-Megawatt Wind Facility in Illinois
Zilkha Renewable Energy is planning a 400-megawatt wind power plant in central Illinois, which would be among the largest wind power facilities in the United States. The Arrowsmith Wind Power Project will be located east of Bloomington and will consist of up to 267 wind turbines, each rated at 1.5 megawatts. Located in a 21,000-acre area, the wind plant will remove only about 150 to 200 acres of land from crop production. Zilkha has already signed agreements with all the landowners, giving the company the option of leasing their wind rights for 30 years. The company plans to begin construction of the $400-million project next year.
Zilkha credits a recent study by DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that identified several commercially viable wind sites in the state. See the Zilkha Web site.
Wind power is also making progress in the neighboring state of Iowa, where Governor Tom Vilsack signed into law a bill that clears the way for MidAmerican Energy to construct a 310-megawatt wind power plant. The bill relates to public utility ownership of alternative energy production facilities. See the Governor's April 11th press release or go directly to the full text of the bill, House File 659.