Mendota Hills Wind Farm
The Mendota Hills Wind Farm is a wind farm in the U.S. state of Illinois near the village of Paw Paw in Lee County. It consists of 63 operating wind turbines. Each wind turbine stands 214 ft (65.23 m) tall and has three 85 ft (35.91 m) long blades. The wind farm was constructed from June 2003 to November 24, 2003. Mendota Hills was the first utility-scale wind farm in the state of Illinois.
The Mendota Hills Wind Farm consists of 63 Gamesa G52-800 kW wind turbines, each costing around US$1 million. Each turbine stands 214 feet (65 m) tall and has a diameter of 171 feet (52 m) across the rotor, the two ton rotors spin at 25 rpm. Each of the three blades measure 83 ft (25.91 m) long. The turbine towers are spread out over 2,200 acres (890 ha) of Lee County, Illinois, near the village of Paw Paw and adjacent to Interstate 39. The wind farm was developed by Navitas Energy, and is now owned and operated by Infigen Energy of Australia. Energy produced at Mendota Hills is sold to Commonwealth Edison. Each tower has a 0.82 megawatt capacity giving a total capacity at Mendota Hills Wind Farm of 51.66 megawatts. The site produces enough power (approximately 110 million kilowatt hours annually) to power about 13,000 homes.
The Mendota Hills Wind Farm's beginnings are rooted in the spring of 2002 when land owners were first approached about the wind towers. For the two years previous to that wind metering had been taking place in the area where the wind farm is located today. Construction could only begin, in June 2003, after a series of environmental and archaeological tests and approval from the Lee County Zoning Board. Construction on the wind farm was complete by November 2003 and the Mendota Hills Wind Farm officially went online on November 24, 2003. Landowners and farmers are compensated by the developer, Navitas Energy of Minneapolis, Minnesota, on a contractual basis. Most landowners are paid US$1,200 to $1,500 per megawatt of electricity produced on each tower.
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