Chicago School Districts to Make Wind Power & Money

John Davis

Three school districts in the Chicago area plan not only to make all the power they need at a new wind farm, but they’ll also net an extra $3 million in the process.

UPI reports that the Keeneyville School District 20, Carpentersville’s Community Unit School District 300 and Prospect Heights School District 23 will be getting all of their energy from a wind farm they plan to build in rural Stark County 140 miles southwest of Chicago. And they’ll have enough extra energy to sell:

The districts’ school boards formed the School Wind Consortium, which is issuing bonds, seeking investors and applying for federal grants to raise $50 million.

All three districts have laid off staff and cut programs but still face budget shortfalls.

The consortium says it hopes to build and begin to operate the wind farm by fall of next year and expects it to bring in $3 million annually for about 30 years.

In 2007, Illinois passed legislation that allowed school districts, community colleges and towns to own and operate their own wind farms, but it’s not practical for too many locations to do so.