Construction was recently completed at EDP Renewables’ Bright Stalk Wind Farm, a 205-MW project located northeast of Bloomington-Normal in McLean County, Illinois, at the end of 2019. The wind farm is now delivering enough clean, renewable energy to annually power more than 73,000 average Illinois homes.
Bright Stalk represents a capital investment of more than $300 million and will pay up to $2.6 million per year in local taxes, which will contribute to and benefit McLean County’s schools, roads and other important public services. Millions more dollars will also be paid out as an additional source of income to local farmers and landowners, who lease a small percentage of their land to the wind farm to house the project’s turbines.
Construction at Bright Stalk created hundreds of area jobs and will employ nine permanent positions to maintain and monitor the turbines throughout the project’s lifecycle. Aside from its economic benefits, Bright Stalk is expected to save McLean County more than 355 million gallons of water each year, displace carbon emissions from fossil fuels and mitigate the health effects of air pollutants.
Walmart and Salesforce, the wind farm’s power purchasers, enabled the development and construction of Bright Stalk, purchasing 123 MW and 80 MW, respectively, of the project’s capacity. Both companies share an admirable goal of sourcing 100% of their energy from renewable energy sources, and their investment in the Bright Stalk Wind Farm contributes to their mutual objective.
“We are consistently pursuing opportunities to expand our use of clean energy technologies,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart. “Our investment in the Bright Stalk Wind Farm directly reinforces Walmart’s commitment of powering 50% of our operations with renewable energy by the end of 2025.”
“At Salesforce, we are committed to ensuring a just transition to a 24/7 clean and renewable electricity grid,” said Patrick Flynn, Vice President of Sustainability for Salesforce. “This project is a small step toward advancing that broader goal, as well as a key milestone in reaching Salesforce’s immediate target of 100% renewable energy by 2022.”
“After the immense effort that went into the development, regulatory, and construction processes for Bright Stalk, I am thrilled to see our wind farm up and running,” said J.C. Finfrock, Operations Manager for Bright Stalk Wind Farm. “We’re grateful for the strong support from our local stakeholders, EDP Renewables and construction team members, and power purchasers for making this wind farm a reality and bringing a new source of clean energy to McLean County.”
News item from EDPR