An agreement between Texas-based Clean Line Energy Partners and Georgia-based Southwire Company will create an estimated $2 billion wind turbine and transmission manufacturing project in Illinois, creating 1,450 union construction jobs under a three-year labor agreement.
"Illinois is a leader in the renewable energy sector, and agreements like these are helping make Illinois even more competitive," said Governor Pat Quinn said. "These cutting-edge projects will help maintain Illinois' national leadership in wind energy and manufacturing, and create good paying, home-grown jobs."
Under the agreement, Southwire will supply the overhead transmission cable for the Rock Island Clean Line project. The project will consist of constructing 500-miles of overhead, high-voltage transmission lines, delivering 3,500 megawatts of renewable power from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota to communities and businesses in Illinois and other states to the east. Construction of the Rock Island Clean Line could begin as early as 2014.
"We are very pleased that Clean Line has chosen to work with Southwire as they prepare for the construction of the Rock Island Clean Line. Such projects help address infrastructure needs that are critical to delivering renewable power to the population centers in the Midwest," stated Charlie Murrah, President of Southwire's Energy Division.
The Rock Island Clean Line will enable approximately $7 billion worth of investments in new wind energy projects to move forward, which today cannot be constructed due to the lack of transmission. The project will also allow Illinois greater access to low-cost clean wind energy and will deliver enough energy to power more than 1.4 million Midwest homes.
Clean Line President Michael Skelly said, "Clean Line Energy is committed to sourcing as many of the needed materials as possible from local companies in the Rock Island Clean Line project area. We believe it is increasingly important to invest in energy infrastructure in order to contribute to local economies, create new jobs in America and improve energy security.