Enel Green Power North America has begun construction of its 185 megawatt (MW) HillTopper wind farm, its first in Illinois, which has already signed Power Purchase Agreements with two corporate offtakers, Bloomberg LP and General Motors.
The 185 MW HillTopper wind farm, located in Logan County in central Illinois, began construction this week under the auspices of Enel Green Power North America, the North American renewable energy subsidiary of Italian electricity giant Enel. Investment for the project amounts to around $325 million and it was acquired by Enel Group from developer Swift Current Energy.
“The start of construction of HillTopper is a new milestone for our growth in the US renewable market and the PPAs with Bloomberg LP and General Motors are testament to the appeal of our customised renewable energy solutions to large corporate customers,” said Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel’s Global Renewable Energies Division Enel Green Power. “Through these agreements our customers gain access to affordable clean energy that supports their renewable goals, while also meeting their business objectives, and in return Enel is able to maintain long-term revenue certainty.”
Upon expected completion later this year, HillTopper is expected to generate around 570 gigawatt-hours (GWh). Specifically, HillTopper has already signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with global business and financial information and news leader Bloomberg LP and global vehicle company General Motors. Bloomberg LP has secured 17 MW under a PPA that will go towards supporting its target of becoming 100% powered by renewable energy by 2025, while General Motors signed a PPA for 100 MW of the electricity generated from HillTopper which will go towards supporting all of its Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities.
“Our agreement to buy energy from the HillTopper project reflects our commitment to sustainable business practices that benefit our bottom line,” said Michael Barry, Head of Sustainable Business Operations at Bloomberg. “This new wind farm puts additional renewable energy onto the grid, creates good jobs in the local community and will help to reduce carbon emissions.”
“Our agreement with HillTopper is part of our strategy to generate or source all electrical power for our global operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2050,” added Rob Threlkeld, global manager of renewable energy, General Motors. “When the turbines come online later this year, we will be 20 percent of the way to our goal.”
HillTopper will use wind turbines manufactured in America and will also work with local wind turbine tower manufacturer Trinity Structural Towers. Further, HillTopper will generate significant tax revenue for the nearby city of Mt. Pulaski and Logan County, estimated to be around $45 million. Enel Green Power is also supporting several nonprofit and educational initiatives in the area through a community benefit fund.
“For Illinois consumers, clean energy is increasingly synonymous with affordable energy. Enel’s new HillTopper facility will expand Illinois’ renewable energy supply — which leads to more favorable market prices for all consumers of electricity — while also unleashing job growth and economic development in the state,” said David Kolata, Executive Director of Illinois Citizens Utility Board. “As one of the world’s largest energy companies, Enel’s investment here is another resounding sign that Illinois has arrived as a leader in the clean energy economy and that consumers are capturing the benefits.”
HillTopper also continues the impressive work of Enel Green Power North America in the region, with around 100 operating projects with capacity exceeding 4.2 GW and more under development in 23 US states and 2 Canadian provinces. In 2017, the company was the fastest growing renewable energy company in the United States, bringing approximately 1.2 GW worth of new capacity online in a single year.
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