July 21, 2011
By Michelle Mantel
Several wind energy experts are looking at Central Illinois as an example of sustainability efforts. The Advancing Wind Power in Illinois Conference is underway. Among the guest speakers are experts from Illinois State University’s Center for Renewable Energy. Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon spoke at the conference this morning. She said local wind farms are pushing clean energy initiatives in the right direction.
“Central Illinois is clearly the driver on this. If you look at a map of where we’re getting wind energy in the state, you’re right in the middle of it there.”
Officials from the Center for Renewable Energy are conducting a study on the economic impact of wind turbines. Earlier this week, Heartland Community College approved efforts to construct a wind turbine on campus. Simon said this will help add to the growing industry with more than 600 workers throughout the state.
“It’s a great way to match up with students who are looking for job opportunities and employers who need trained people.”
Simon said using wind as an alternative energy source will help bring down the state’s energy costs and help boost the economy by creating jobs.