Wind Turbines

Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy has acquired the 225MW Green River wind farm plant in Illinois from Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power.

Subsequently, the company took steps to qualify the plant for the federal production tax credit (PTC), which expired on 31 December 2013. However, the project will still be eligible to receive the tax credits for upwards of ten years.

Spanning across 13,500 acres of land in Whiteside, Lee and Bureau counties, the 225MW plant is the first phase of the two-phase project, which is being built between Walnut and Rock Falls largely within the Bureau Valley School District.

The broader project calls for the construction of around 175-290 turbines for a total generating capacity of 437MW, which is enough electricity to power around 109,000 homes and curb around 400,000 CO2 tons of emissions annually.

The project will provide significant economic benefits for the community in the form of property taxes of more than $4.5m a year, of which more than $2.5m will go to the Bureau Valley School District.

The company is also developing the 210MW Walnut Ridge project adjacent to the Green River project and together these projects represent up to 435MW of clean wind energy.

"The project will provide significant economic benefits for the community in the form of property taxes of more than $4.5m a year."

Geronimo Energy president Blake Nixon said the acquisition benefits all interested parties and gives Geronimo flexibility and scalability when speaking with power purchasers – and it means the local communities have one point of contact, which keeps communication very simple.

"We feel that having two projects side by side in such a desirable market as Illinois strengthens the prospects for both developments," said Nixon.

In June 2009, Mainstream Renewable Power had acquired a portfolio of wind farm projects in Illinois with a potential capacity of 787MW from FPC Services with a capital investment of more than $1.69bn over a four year period.

The portfolio comprised three separate projects at various stages of development: the 120MW Shady Oaks project, and the 467MW Green River project, both located in Lee County; and the 200MW Boone County project.

Image: Whiteside, Lee and Bureau counties in Illinois hosts Green River wind farm plant. Photo: courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.