SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 15, 2014): EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) today announced the company has secured a 96 percent stake in the 175 megawatt (MW) Pilot Hill Wind Project (formerly known as K4) from Orion Energy Group LLC (Orion) and Vision Energy LLC. The project benefits from a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Microsoft Corporation.
Pilot Hill Wind Project, located 60 miles southwest of Chicago, Illinois, in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, will consist of wind turbines supplied by General Electric (GE) and Vestas. The wind project is situated on the same electric grid that powers Microsoft’s Chicago area datacenter. Physical construction on site is to commence shortly with commercial operation anticipated during the first quarter of 2015.
“EDF Renewable Energy is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Microsoft on the Pilot Hill Wind Project, as well as to have closed our first transaction with Orion Energy Group and Vision Energy,” commented Ryan Pfaff, Executive Vice President for EDF Renewable Energy.
He further added, “The participation of companies like Microsoft in renewable energy generation projects points to a growing trend of ‘blue chip’ organizations taking charge of their energy destiny by procuring directly, with a focus on both reducing their carbon footprint and controlling long-term energy costs. It is encouraging to see leading corporations investing in the US wind sector based not only on their desire to positively impact the environment, but also because it simply makes good business sense, as the cost of wind energy continues to decline, and with the support provided by the Production Tax Credit.”
“The Pilot Hill Wind Project is important to Microsoft because it helps solidify our commitment to taking significant action to shape our energy future by developing clean, low-cost sources to meet our energy needs,” said Brian Janous, Director of Energy Strategy for Microsoft. “Microsoft is focused on transforming the energy supply chain for cloud services from the power plant to the chip. Long term commitments like Pilot Hill help ensure a cleaner grid to supply energy to our datacenters.”
“Orion’s partnership with Microsoft and EDF Renewable Energy is a tremendous step forward for the entire project team that has worked tirelessly to make the first phase of the Pilot Hill Wind project a reality,” said Ryan McGraw, President of Orion Energy Group LLC. “On behalf of Orion and our development partner Vision Energy LLC, I would especially like to thank our landowners and local officials in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, without whom this project would not be the success that it is.”
EDF Renewable Energy is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 5.7 gigawatts of wind, solar, biomass, and biogas projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.