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Onshore Wind

$150 million secured for E.On’s Illinois wind farm

E.On Climate & Renewables North America secured $150 million in equity financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch for the Pioneer Trail wind farm in Illinois.

With the agreement, Bank of America Merrill Lynch will have a partial interest in the 150-megawatt wind farm currently being built in Ford and Iroquois counties.

"Our investment in the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm is another step in Bank of America's 10-year, $20 billion environmental business commitment," said Todd Karas, president of Bank of America Public Capital Corp, which includes Bank of America Merrill Lunch's renewable energy finance group.

Construction on the Pioneer Trail wind farm is expected to finish by the end of 2012. At full capacity, it will supply power to more than 45,000 households in the central Illinois region.

The project is expected to generate more than $29 million in local taxes, pay $8 million in local salaries, and earn landowners more than $50 million.

The project is the 15th operational wind farm in North America for E.On, the American unit of Germany's largest utility. Pioneer Trail is one of two wind farms that E.On intends to have operational in Illinois this year. The other is the 150-MW Settlers Trail wind farm which is expected to finish construction by October.

At full capacity, both facilities will generate enough power for 115,000 households. E.On and General Electric signed an agreement in September last year for 188 wind turbines to be used in the two sites (See related story). – EcoSeed Staff

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