EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) announced today that the 175 megawatt (MW) Pilot Hill Wind Project in Illinois reached commercial operation on September 26, 2015.
The Pilot Hill Wind Project was made possible through Microsoft Corporation’s commitment to purchase the clean energy generated by the project on a long-term basis. Microsoft’s 20-year power purchase agreement for the Pilot Hill Wind Project will power 100 percent of the energy needs of Microsoft’s data center in Illinois.
“EDF Renewable Energy is proud to partner with Microsoft to power its Illinois data center with 100% renewable energy, through the Pilot Hill Wind Project,” said Ryan Pfaff, Executive Vice President of EDF Renewable Energy. “Corporate America is increasingly turning to renewable energy to power its business operations, based both on consumer preferences and because renewable energy simply makes good business sense from a cost standpoint. Technology companies like Microsoft have been leading the way in this regard, and many other industries are beginning to follow suit.”
“Microsoft is excited to see renewable energy from Pilot Hill coming on line," said Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist at Microsoft. “We are strong supporters of green power, and projects like Pilot Hill are one way we are meeting our commitment to powering our data centers and operations with renewable energy.”
The Project, located 60 miles southwest of Chicago in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, commenced construction of its 103 General Electric (GE) wind turbines in September 2014. The facility will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 60,000 homes, according to US Energy Information Administration. As a result, this project will prevent approximately 374,000 metric tons of new greenhouse gas emissions per year, the equivalent of the annual emissions from approximately 79,000 passenger vehicles.
EDF Renewable Services, the leading provider of renewable operations and maintenance services in North America, will provide balance-of-plant operations and maintenance for the facility including 24/7 remote monitoring from its NERC compliant Operations Control Center (OCC). The OCC provides an efficient, reliable, and secure operating platform, while benefiting from the centralization of SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) functions and consolidation of multiple vendor SCADA environments to provide a common operating view. EDF Renewable Services has over 10.5 GW under contract in North America.
EDF Renewable Energy is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 6 gigawatts of wind, solar, biomass, and biogas projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.