Illinois' potential for wind energy continues to grow

Sep 21, 2015

Illinois appears to have potential for growth in wind energy.  One area that some say is ripe for development is wind farms off the shores of Lake Michigan.   

A federal study says Illinois could become the number two wind energy producer in the next 30 years.

Credit Adrian S Jones / Flickr/Creative Commons

A few years back, the state created a commission to examine wind energy development in Lake Michigan.

But one expert doesn't see that happening any time soon off the shores of Illinois.  David Loomis, the Director of Illinois State University's Center for Renewable Energy, says it would be a tough sell:

"I think the lake front in Illinois is kind of so sacred that people wouldn't want to have their view scape changed  to see wind turbines even if they are small and on the horizon," Loomis said. 

Loomis sees potential for tremendous growth in wind energy, spreading from the current wind farms in north central Illinois southward into the more central parts of the state.  He also says solar farms would be a good fit for the southern part of the state.   

A number of experts will meet in Springfield to discuss the future of energy in October.