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Wind energy helps boost economy

Wind energy helps boost economy(By Jim Shield, Senior VP of Development, and Bryan Schueler, VP, Project

Development via MorrisDailyHerald.com)As a leading clean energy company and one of the five largest wind

generators in the country, we have the incredible opportunity to help move

the U.S. renewable energy industry forward in a time when we can and must

do all we can to decrease our dependence on foreign sources of energy.Our first wind energy project in Illinois, the Grand Ridge Energy Center in

La Salle County, is currently expanding its capacity by over 110 megawatts

–enough clean energy for 30,000 households. This is largely due to the hard

work, vision and desire for a clean energy future of Congresswoman Debbie

Halvorson (IL-11). Congresswoman Halvorson was a strong supporter of the

American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, under which our project is eligible

for federal stimulus funds.The courage of Congress to move boldly during a time when status quo energy

solutions no longer work in our nation is applauded by all of us who

understand the importance of renewable energy – not only today but for

future generations.With the abundance of wind power in the United States waiting to be

harnessed into electricity that can meet our growing energy demands,

Halvorson and other like-minded members of Congress know that wind

development is also a boon to the economy and job creation.In 2008, the wind industry invested $17 billion into the economy providing

the ability to serve more than two million homes in the United States with

clean energy. With 85,000 people employed in the industry at the end of

2008, we’ve already seen an increase of 35,000 jobs from the previous year.According to a recent study by the Renewable Energy Policy Project, every

1000 MW of wind power developed creates a potential for 3000 jobs in

manufacturing, 700 jobs in installation and 600 in operations and

maintenance. The majority of these job opportunities are expected in the

Great Lakes region, California and Texas.With the wind development potential in Illinois, 11th District residents

stand to reap good economic and job benefits from wind.Again, thank you to Congresswoman Halvorson for believing in LaSalle County

and Invenergy. Your support for a clean energy future and stimulus funding

for the Grand Ridge project is truly appreciated.For the very latest jobs in wind power across the globe please click here