The Kankakee County Board in August approved a special use permit for the Kelly Creek Wind Farm, a 108-turbine project that is projected to create 12 permanent maintenance jobs and 120 construction jobs locally (700+ jobs for the State of Illinois), in addition to generating in excess of $3 million in new property taxes, as reported by the Daily Journal.
Thirty three of the project’s turbines will be in Kankakee County, the remainder in Ford County. Parent company EDF Renewable Development Inc. is on track to start construction by late spring.
Kelly Creek will leverage the infrastructure developed for the adjacent 103-turbine Pilot Hill Wind Farm in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, which was completed in early 2015 under an unconditional permit and with little public opposition.
The 175 MW Pilot Hill Wind Farm reached commercial operation in September, EDF Renewable Energy reported, producing power exclusively for Microsoft Corporation.
“The Pilot Hill Wind Project was made possible through Microsoft Corporation’s commitment to purchase the clean energy generated by the project on a long-term basis,” an EDF press release states. “Microsoft’s 20-year power purchase agreement for the Pilot Hill Wind Project will power 100 percent of the energy needs of Microsoft’s data center in Illinois.”
To meet its local equipment maintenance requirements, EDF has looked to Kankakee Community College’s award-winning Electrical Technology Program to provide trained technicians.