Even before the turbines turn, jobs roll in
The planned completion of the first turbine in E.On Climate & Renewables' $300-million, 150-MW Settlers Trail Wind Farm in Iroquois County, Ill., was delayed due to high winds (an auspicious sign), but as the Daily Journal's Robert Themer writes, the "real milestone" for the county had already occurred.
It came in the form of some 200 workers, many of them local, who had been working on the project for weeks in advance of its formal dedication Monday. Themer quotes Ken Barragee, executive director of the Iroquois Development Association: "Local businesses are also already reaping benefits from the activity. The motels are full. The restaurants are busy. Gas stations are pumping full out. Those dollars will turn over again and again in communities throughout the local area."
With America's economy still struggling to make headway after the Great Recession, bright spots like this one and others from wind projects across the country are great to see.