Sunday, September 13, 2009
With a kid in college in Urbana, Illinois, my wife and I occasionally make the trek from our suburban Chicago home to visit. Taking the backroads route down Illinois highway 47 this spring, we noticed dozens of wind turbines standing in the fields south of the town of Dwight. We recently swung by again so I could grab a few photos of the windmills.
The answer to some of the energy needs of northern Illinois, along with how to increase county revenues appear to be blowing in the wind. Iberdrola, an energy company headquartered in Spain, paved the way for the launch of several wind farms in a four-county area southwest of Chicago.
Between the towns of Emington and Odell, 65 turbines of Iberdrola’s Cayuga Ridge Wind Farm have sprouted since last fall, located in farm fields along with corn and soybeans. Motorists on Illinois Route 47 can view many of the towers.
The company plans to finish the installation of a total of 150 towers over 15,000 acres of land sometime in 2010. Several other energy companies, taking advantage of incentives provided by Washington, D.C., are in the process of planning additional wind farms in the development zone, a cooperative effort of the four counties involved.
Photographs © 2009 James Jordan.