When customers of New Holstein Utilities flip the light switch or plug in an electronic device, they now will receive more than twice as much of their electricity from wind power. The additional renewable energy is being generated at the new Bishop Hill III Energy Center located in north central Illinois.
“Not only are we adding more renewable energy to our power supply portfolio with Bishop Hill III,” said Randy Jaeckels, NHU’s General Manager, “we are doing so in a cost efficient manner.” “We began looking a couple of years ago at whether a new renewable resource could be a cost-effective addition to our power supply portfolio,” WPPI Energy President and CEO Mike Peters stated. “Of the dozens of proposals we received, Bishop Hill III Wind Energy Center rose to the top as a project that is projected to lower our wholesale costs to WPPI Energy members over the long term.”
WPPI Energy, New Holstein Utilities’ wholesale power supplier, entered into a power purchase agreement with Invenergy (Bishop Hill’s owner) last summer to buy electricity from the 132-megawatt facility located in Henry County, in north central Illinois. New Holstein Utilities is one of fifty-one members of WPPI Energy.
Construction on the Bishop Hill III Wind Energy Center began in August of 2017, and the facility started producing electricity in May of this year. To officially mark the opening of the Bishop Hill III facility, representatives from the WPPI Energy membership (including Jaeckels), Invenergy, along with local elected officials and dignitaries of the local community gathered in Woodhull, Illinois on June 29, 2018 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. See the photos from the event.
In addition to the cost effectiveness, the project also delivers environmental benefits. Not only does Bishop Hill III more than double the WPPI Energy membership’s use of wind energy, but when combined with the addition of solar power from the Point Beach Energy Center (just north of Two Rivers), which is expected to come online in 2021, the project will also help New Holstein Utilities achieve a power supply portfolio that is:
Made up of more than 22% renewable energy
Nearly 40% emissions-free, and
Approximately 40% lower in carbon dioxide emissions compared to levels in 2005.
WPPI Energy will purchase the electricity from Bishop Hill III through mid-2040 in order to serve its 51 member utilities across Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Iowa, including New Holstein Utilities. The agreement between WPPI Energy and Invenergy represents WPPI Energy’s largest renewable energy purchase to date.