January 25, 2011

600 New Energy Jobs for Southern Illinois - Without Rate Hikes or New Pollution

To hear the coal lobbyists in Springfield tell it, creating energy jobs in Illinois has to mean higher electric and gas bills, more pollution, and sweetheart deals for specific companies.

Meanwhile, in the real world, there's more good news about how our renewable energy goals are bringing good jobs to Illinois, without all the risk and costs of the Tenaska, Leucadia, or Power Holdings bills.

Illinois' commitment to wind is bringing 600 new jobs to Pike County this year - with more to come:
PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- A St. Louis wind energy company plans to develop a 150-megawatt wind farm in Pike County west of Pittsfield, with the total cost of the project expected to be between $250 million and $300 million. Trey Goede, CEO of Affinity Wind, confirmed that his company is planning a 36-megawatt wind farm, which could become operational in the fourth quarter of this year, and a 114-megawatt expansion in 2012. The company plans to construct 75 2-megawatt wind turbines. Affinity announced last week that it closed a joint venture agreement with Chicago-based Suzlon Wind Energy Corp., a subsidiary of Indian-based Suzlon Energy Limited. The two companies will develop the wind farm under the venture called Surity Wind, LLC. ....

Affinity Wind estimated that more than $44 million would be spent locally during construction and $3 million annually once completed, with approximately 600 jobs created. More than $1 million in property taxes would be generated along with lease payments toward landowners. Goede said his idea has been received well in Pike County. "We have had landowners committed from day one, and they have provided their allegiance to the project and partnership to the project very early on," he said. "We are adding more landowners as we speak."
Of course, these jobs aren't the result of a special interest "Affinity bill", or "Suzlon bill". They are the result of our Renewable Portfolio Standard, which, unlike the Tenaska, Leucadia, and Power Holdings bills, keeps utility bills low, invites competition, and invests in proven technology.

Clearly, the fastest, cheapest, cleanest way to create clean energy jobs for Illinois is to stay the course, and continue to prioritize renewables and energy conservation.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that with the IWF they have "promised in writing" to600 people from Pike County. I thought the wind company brought in construction companies like Mortenson (sp) Reed or the like. If they've guaranteed Pike county 600 jobs, put it in writing more power to you. In Stephenson county there was basically no impact on restaurants and doubt many locals got jobs. The people work 12 -14 hours a day who has time to eat out, except the company exec.
Hope the contract had a specific number of local hires in it. I'm sure your get a token, if 20 temp construction be happy!

Don Blankenship said...

Quinn Vetoes Leucadia's Rate Hike – The End of Springfield's Coal Plant Bailouts from a gas rate hike to subsidize the coal-to-gas plant proposed by New millions of pounds of air pollution Leucadia could add to Illinois' air.jobs in clean energy sources and for protecting consumers from rate hikes.
Don Blankenship