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Siemens Gamesa to repower and modernize Mendota Hills wind farm in Illinois

EBR Staff Writer Published 07 March 2018

Siemens Gamesa has won a contract to repower and modernize Leeward Renewable Energy’s Mendota Hills wind farm in Illinois, whose capacity will be increased from about 50MW to 76MW.

The wind farm’s repowering would involve removal of all existing wind turbine generators and replacement with new turbines to maximize the efficiency, performance and extend its lifetime.

As per the terms of the contract, Siemens Gamesa will deliver 29 SG 2.6-126 wind turbines. These turbines will replace the existing 63 G52-800 kW wind turbines supplied by Gamesa, which in 2017 merged with the wind power business of Siemens to form Siemens Gamesa.

According to Leeward Renewable Energy, Siemens Gamesa will continue to be responsible for the operations and maintenance for the Mendota wind farm.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Onshore Americas CEO José Antonio Miranda said: “Mendota Hills is Siemens Gamesa’s eighth project with Leeward, with joint projects spanning across four states and totalling over 400 MW, and is the company’s first full-scale repowering in the U.S.

“We look forward to revitalizing an aging wind farm with the implementation of advanced technology and partnering with Leeward on future projects.”

The Mendota Hills wind farm, located in Lee County, has been in operations since 2003, and is considered to be the first utility-scale wind farm in Illinois.

Leeward Renewable Energy CEO Greg Wolf said: “Mendota Hills is Leeward’s oldest operating wind farm in our portfolio.

“This repowering elevates a premier site that will benefit our customers and Lee County. We are pleased to join forces with Siemens Gamesa on the first of what we hope to be many such initiatives.”

The repowering project will begin in March and is slated to be completed by the year end. During the repowering process, the project is expected to generate 115 full time construction jobs. 

Leeward Renewable Energy had acquired the Mendota Hills wind farm from Australian firm Infigen Energy in October 2015.

Image: The Mendota Hills Wind Farm in southeast Lee County. Photo: courtesy of Dual Freq/Wikipedia.org.