Blooming Grove Wind Energy Center Begins Commercial Operations

Invenergy, a leading privately-held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, today announced that the 250-megawatt Blooming Grove Wind Energy Center commenced commercial operations in December 2020.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

Located in McLean County, Illinois, Blooming Grove generates enough electricity to power about 69,000 American homes each year. The project supported approximately 500 jobs during the 12-month construction period and will invest nearly $120 million in the local community through property taxes, landowner payments, and wages and benefits.

Invenergy entered into two separate Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPA) with Verizon and Saint-Gobain North America for the output of the Blooming Grove project, contracts that were announced in 2020.

“Blooming Grove Wind Energy Center is Invenergy’s 15th project to achieve commercial operations in our home state, signifying our continued commitment to a clean energy economy in Illinois,” said Jim Shield, Invenergy’s EVP and Chief Commercial Officer. “As a leading partner to corporate renewable energy purchasers, Invenergy is proud to celebrate this milestone with Verizon and Saint-Gobain, and commend their dedication to investing in clean energy and fostering resilient, sustainable communities.”

Headquartered in Chicago, Invenergy has developed approximately 2,100 megawatts of projects in Illinois, contributing a total of approximately $17.5 million annually in local taxes, landowner payments, and wages and benefits.

“The 18th District of Illinois is one of the largest wind energy producing districts in the country. Wind energy projects support our local economies, and I am grateful to Invenergy for their investment in central Illinois,” said Congressman Darrin LaHood, U.S. Representative for Illinois' 18th congressional district. “The Blooming Grove project helped create good-paying jobs in McLean County, and its commercial operations will spur further investment and economic development in the region. In Congress, I will continue to advocate for an all of the above energy approach that protects jobs and generates renewable energy solutions.”

Verizon, through its 130-megawatt VPPA, is focused on its ongoing efforts to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations (scope 1 and 2) by 2035, a key commitment of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental, and social advancement. Announced at the start of 2021, Invenergy and Verizon also entered into three 15-year contracts for an aggregate of 525 megawatts of capacity, the largest portion of Verizon’s latest renewable energy purchases. The generation will come from three solar projects, all of which are expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

“Verizon is committed to supporting the transition to a greener grid by making substantial investments in renewable energy – including at Invenergy’s Blooming Grove facility,” said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer and vice president, supply chain operations. “Through its second $1 billion green bond announced last year, Verizon is intent on bringing new renewable energy to the grids that power our networks.”

Invenergy’s 120-megawatt VPPA with Saint-Gobain North America represents the largest renewable energy deal to date for Saint-Gobain, its first wind farm, and is a key driver in supporting the company’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Through this agreement, Saint-Gobain will receive renewable energy certificates (RECs) that will effectively offset CO2 emissions from electricity that powers its U.S. operations by 40%, resulting in a reduction of Saint-Gobain's overall carbon footprint in the U.S. by 21%.

“Achieving commercial operations at Blooming Grove Wind Energy Center is a significant milestone for Saint-Gobain North America and the largest renewable energy deal in our company’s history,” said Mark Rayfield, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain North America. “Our goal remains to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This project is not only a key driver in accomplishing this, but also a testament to our company purpose of making the world a better home.”

Milwaukee based WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC), one of the nation’s premier energy companies, has invested in Blooming Grove at 90% ownership interest, and Invenergy retains a minority ownership position.

Invenergy Services, a subsidiary of Invenergy, will provide Operations and Maintenance, Balance of Plant, Energy Management, and Asset Management services under a long-term agreement, adding to the 10-gigawatt global sustainable energy project portfolio it manages.

As a leading partner to commercial and industrial renewable energy customers, Invenergy has contracted more than 4,500 megawatts of wind and solar capacity to support different corporate users across a variety of industries in reaching their sustainability goals.

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Invenergy, sustainable, developer, wind farm, Blooming Grove, operation, VPPA, onshore, USA, Verizon, Saint-Gobain North America

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