E.ON climate and renewables North America (E.ON) is one of the world’s largest owners of renewable power projects. The Chicago-based subsidiary of E.ON SE—the largest investor-owned utility in the world—develops, builds, owns, and operates utility-scale wind farms and other renewable energy systems throughout North America.
With 18 wind farms on-line in the United States, E.ON’s wind portfolio has gone from zero to more than 2,500 megawatts (MW) of capacity in just four years. E.ON SE has invested more than $10 billion in renewable energy projects and plans to invest an additional $9 billion in renewables and environmental protection projects over the next five years.
E.ON built three wind farms in 2012 and brought them all on-line on schedule by the end of the year. The Magic Valley Wind Farm, a 200-MW project in Willacy County, Texas, began commercial operations in September. The Anacacho project, representing a $100 million investment in Kinney County, Texas, and 100 MW of output, went on-line in December. And the Wildcat Wind Farm, a 200-MW, $400 million project in Tipton and Madison counties, Indiana, just 45 miles northeast of Indianapolis, also began producing wind-powered electricity in December.
Together, the three wind farms’ construction created approximately 600 jobs and their operation and management will require an additional 30 permanent positions. The projects produce enough combined electricity to power more than 150,000 homes and to date have put nearly $1 billion in local economies.
“Wind farms create jobs, and provide an economic shot in the arm to farmers, ranchers, and rural communities across America,” said E.ON CEO Steve Trenholm. In fact, the domestic wind industry has invested more than $60 billion in the United States in the last four years and is responsible for 75,000 jobs on our shores. The Production Tax Credit (PTC) has been a significant factor in igniting the industry’s rapid growth and, with the PTC’s eleventh-hour extension, E.ON and other major players in domestic wind energy can further expand renewable energy production with financing certainty through 2013.
— Environmental Entrepreneurs
Photo credit: E.ON