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Mar
2012
8

Illinois Signs PLA for Renewable Power Project, Will Create 1,400 Jobs, Power 1.4 Million Homes



Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced an agreement that will enable the construction of an overhead, high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) transmission line to deliver 3,500 megawatts (MW) of renewable power from neighboring states. The agreement between Rock Island Clean Line, LLC and Illinois-based Southwire was announced by Governor Quinn at the American Wind Energy Association Regional Wind Energy Summit held in Chicago. With a Project Labor Agreement in place, the project will create 1,450 jobs that maintain the highest safety, diversity and wage standards.

“Illinois is a leader in the renewable energy sector, and agreements like these are helping make Illinois even more competitive,” Governor Quinn said. “These cutting-edge projects will help maintain Illinois’ national leadership in wind energy and manufacturing, and create good paying, home-grown jobs.”

Construction of the Rock Island Clean Line could begin as early as 2014 and will deliver renewable power from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. Upon completion, the new line will allow for approximately $7 billion in new wind energy investments, previously inconceivable because of the lack of transmission. The project is slated to deliver enough energy to power 1.4 million homes. It will also help stimulate the Illinois economy:

A study conducted by Illinois State University found that wind energy in Illinois supports local economies by generating $22.2 million in annual property taxes, and supports nearly 600 permanent jobs and over 13,000 construction jobs. According to the American Wind Energy Association, there are 2,743 MW of wind generation installed in Illinois, enough to power nearly 1 million homes, and 523 MW of new wind is now under construction. Illinois was the number one state for new turbines installed in 2011, with 404 turbines erected last year. The Chicago-area is home to the U.S. or global headquarters of 14 wind developers or manufacturers, more than any other U.S. city. Illinois is also home to hundreds of companies in wind component manufacturing, supply chain, or that provide services to the industry.

Below, Leadbelly’s version of “Rock Island Line”:

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