ELPC reports that over 3,000 MW of electric capacity is proposed for Illinois, enough to power over a million Illinois homes. Indeed, one 400 MW project near Bloomington could power a medium-sized city. Illinois is far behind some of its Midwestern neighbors in the wind power game because of its slow movement towards a Renewable Portfolio Standard and, compared to the Plains to the west, meager wind resources.
Localities, too, can charge ahead to encourage renewable energy: not only by doing as Chicago did and purchasing Green Tags, but through good planning. Klickitat County in southern Washington state has created a zoning overlay district that allows wind turbines as-of-right in parts of the county that are both suitably windy and ready to deal with the land-use impacts. The zone was created after a $500,000 feasibility study, money that it will quickly recover with 500 MW of generation capacity planned.
Batavia, Illinois was known for much of its history as the windmill capital of the world, home to three companies (dating to 1863) that built many of the water-pumping windmills that dotted the Plains. Wind energy has provided Illinoisans with good jobs for 144 years!