The Illinois Chamber of Commerce Energy Council, led by ICEC Steering Committee member Tom Wolf, brought leaders of Illinois’ energy sector, government officials and academics together in LaSalle County to see the unique intersection of much of our nation’s energy infrastructure.
Among the cornfields southwest of Seneca, Illinois, the future of clean energy generation meets where the state’s largest solar energy plant prepares to open in the midst of a 140-turbine wind farm, all within sights of the LaSalle Nuclear Power Station and a few miles from a hydroelectric power station along the Illinois River.
Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Doug Scott, State Senators Sue Rezin and Pam Althoff, State Representative Kelly Burke, members of the Governor’s staff and leaders from the energy industry heard Exelon Vice President Dave Rhodes provide an overview of the operations of the LaSalle Station and discussed enhanced safety features and cybersecurity efforts for the plant.
LaSalle generates just under 2,300 Megawatts, operating at over 94% of capacity. Surrounding the generating station is Invenergy’s Grand Ridge Wind Farm which has operated since 2008 and generates about 200 Megawatts. And soon to begin operations is Invenergy’s 150-acre solar energy plant that will generate 20 Megawatts of electricity.
So within a few square miles in rural central Illinois, over 2,500 Megawatts of electricity will be produced without any carbon emissions.
Anchored by Illinois’ largest-in-the-nation nuclear fleet, augmented by the development of new technology, our state continues to move towards safe, clean and reliable energy generation.