CHICAGO, Ill., July 15, 2002 — ComEd, Illinois Wind Energy (IWE) and Tomen Power Corporation (TPC) on June 26, 2002 announced plans for creating the first commercial wind farm in Illinois.
The Crescent Ridge wind energy project will become one of the largest wind farms east of the Mississippi River and will generate enough renewable energy to power approximately 20,000 Illinois homes.
Under the agreement, ComEd will purchase the entire output of the 51 megawatt wind generating facility. ComEd is adding this renewable resource to its supply portfolio, available to serve its customers.
“Wind power is a desirable alternate source of energy because it is renewable and environmentally friendly,” said Arlene Juracek, ComEd vice president of regulatory and strategic services. “ComEd is excited to help pave the way for turning the dream of wind power into reality for the people of Illinois.”
The Crescent Ridge wind energy project will be located across 2,200 acres of farmland in Bureau County, Illinois, though the wind turbine facilities themselves will actually take up less than 20 acres of land. All the land can continue to be farmed, except what is needed for the wind facilities themselves. The project will be built near Tiskilwa, approximately 110 miles west of Chicago, and is expected to be completed in mid 2003.
IWE and TPC are co-owners and co-developers of the Crescent Ridge wind power project. TPC, which is financing the project, is a subsidiary of Tomen Power Holding Company, one of the world’s largest wind power developers.
“This project puts Illinois Wind Energy at the forefront of commercial-scale wind development in Illinois,” said Stefan Noe, president of IWE. “The power purchase agreement with ComEd provides the economic assurance to make this project possible. ComEd has not only made a significant commitment to help bring the Crescent Ridge wind project to life, but also is making a significant commitment to the environment and Illinois’ future.”
In addition to reaching the power purchase agreement announced recently, ComEd has already shown its commitment to renewable resources through its contribution of $225 million in start-up capital for Illinois Clean Energy Community Trust, which is used to finance energy efficiency initiatives, renewable energy resources and other environmental programs. And recently’s announcement follows on the heels of the Midwest Renewable Energy Workshop, co-sponsored by ComEd, which concluded Tuesday at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.
“Illinois is positioned to be a leader in renewable resources, especially with respect to wind generation,” Juracek said. “ComEd is proud to be part of making this opportunity a business reality.”
NEG Micon, whose U.S. operations are headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, has been selected as the preferred supplier of 34 new, 1.5 MW wind energy generating turbines. The turbines will stand 380 feet high from the base to the tip of the blade, and will have three-blade rotors that extend 235 feet in diameter. Crescent Ridge is considered one of the best sites for wind power in the state with average wind speeds in excess of 17 miles per hour at the center of the rotor.
The wind farm will employ new wind turbine technology that allows for effective electricity generation at lower speeds than normally found at other wind farms across the nation. Recent studies by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory as well as the American Wind Energy Association have shown that parts of Illinois, particularly northwestern Illinois, are suitable for wind energy projects.
About Commonwealth Edison
Commonwealth Edison is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), one the nation’s largest electric utilities with more than $15 billion in revenues and a customer base of five million. ComEd provides service to more than 3.4 million customers across Northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.
About Illinois Wind Energy
Illinois Wind Energy (IWE) is an Illinois limited liability company formed in September 2000 for the purpose of developing utility-scale wind farm projects in Illinois. IWE’s owners have taken their experience in the wind power and energy industries and formed strategic partnerships with other companies to ensure our wind power projects are successful. The goal of IWE is to be the leading developer of wind power generating facilities in Illinois.
About Tomen Power Corporation
Tomen Power Corporation (TPC) is the subsidiary of Tomen Power Holdings Corporation, one of the world’s largest wind power developers, with operating facilities accounting for approximately 5% of the world’s total wind power generation capacity. In 1987, Tomen first began its wind power generation plant in California with a generating capacity of 5 MWs, and recently operates more than 20 wind farms in Europe, the United States and Japan with a combined output capacity of 1,400 MWs including projects under development. Tomen intends to secure financing and provide the necessary investment capital to the Crescent Ridge Windpower Project.
NEG Micon features a 20-year track record with its core competencies in wind turbine supply, installation, operation, service and maintenance of wind power plants. NEG Micon North America builds wind power plants ranging from 1MW to more than 100MW in size. Since 1997, the company has supplied technology to the U.S. and Canadian markets valued at over $500 million, representing 715 turbines and over 560 MW of nameplate capacity.