Utility customers in Columbus will soon receive even more of their electricity from cost-effective renewable energy thanks to a recently announced agreement between Columbus Water & Light’s not-for-profit wholesale power supplier, WPPI Energy, and Invenergy. Under the agreement, WPPI Energy will purchase the output from Invenergy’s 132-megawatt Bishop Hill III Wind Energy Center.
“This highly cost-effective resource is an excellent addition to our utility’s power supply, said Eric Anthon, Utility Manager. “When Bishop Hill III comes online in 2018, we will more than double the amount of energy we receive from wind resources, and our power supply will be more than 40 percent emission-free.”
The wind energy center, which will be constructed in Henry County, Illinois, is expected to begin commercial operation in 2018. WPPI Energy will purchase the electricity from Bishop Hill III through mid-2040 in order to serve to serve its 51 member utilities across Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa, including Columbus Water & Light.
“We project that Bishop Hill III will be more cost-effective than other opportunities currently available to meet our member communities’ long-term needs,” said Mike Peters, president and CEO of WPPI Energy.
The addition of Bishop Hill III will bring to more than 20 percent the total portion of Columbus Water & Light’s power supply that comes from renewable energy. The agreement represents WPPI Energy’s largest renewable energy purchase to date.
Columbus Water & Light is a member of WPPI Energy, a regional power company serving 51 locally owned electric utilities. Through WPPI Energy, these not-for-profit utilities share resources and pool their purchasing power to provide reliable, affordable electricity to more than 200,000 homes and businesses in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa. For more information about Columbus Water & Light, visit www.columbuswaterandlight.com.