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When Alger Delta Cooperative consumers flip on a light switch or plug in a device, they now receive more than twice as much of their electricity from wind power. The additional renewable energy is generated at the new Bishop Hill III Wind Energy Center located in Henry County, Illinois. Bishop Hill is operated by Invenergy LLC.
“Not only are we adding more renewable energy to our power supply portfolio with Bishop Hill III,” said Tom Harrell, Alger Delta’s CEO, “we are doing so cost effectively.”
Alger Delta’s wholesale power supplier, WPPI Energy, entered an agreement with Invenergy LLC last summer to buy the electricity from the 132-megawatt facility. Alger Delta is a member-owner of WPPI Energy and has a long term power purchase agreement with joint action agency.
Construction on the Bishop Hill III Wind Energy Center began in August 2017, and the facility began operating in May of this year. “We began looking a couple of years ago at whether new renewable resources could be a cost-effective addition to our power supply portfolio,” said WPPI Energy President and CEO Mike Peters. “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.”
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 solar power from Point Beach Solar Energy Center, which is expected to come online in 2021, the project will result in Alger Delta achieving a power supply that is more than 22 percent renewable energy; nearly 40 percent emissions-free, and; approximately 40 percent lower in carbon dioxide emissions than 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, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Iowa, including Alger Delta. The agreement represents WPPI Energy’s largest renewable energy purchase to date.
Alger Delta is an electric cooperative headquartered in Gladstone, MI and serves about 10,000 consumers in six counties in Michigan’s central Upper Peninsula. Alger Delta joined WPPI in 2007.