Rivian has signed a 50 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) to offtake renewable electricity from Apex’s 300 MW Goose Creek wind facility in Illinois. The PPA marks Rivian’s first large-scale clean power procurement initiative and will help the company run 75% of its Illinois operations with renewable energy. Goose Creek Wind, which is expected to be operational in 2024, has a capital investment of $500mn and will be powered by 50 of Vestas’ 6.2 MW turbines. Media reports suggest that the wind farm will have a co-located battery storage component, to offset intermittency concerns related to energy generation. Despite the challenges associated with Goose Creek wind farm's location, Apex Clean Energy is optimistic about the project's development timeline.
Goose Creek Wind is situated close to nearby airspace, which raises concerns about air safety, so the developer is required to seek approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Local landowners are also concerned about the wind farm's impact on agricultural land. Hearings on the proposed wind farm are ongoing, with Apex pushing for receipt of the necessary approvals by the end of 2022. The developer has committed to sharing up to $5mn in revenue annually with the Piatt County Board, if the project is granted its special use permit by December 31st, 2022.
As a state with a high concentration of wind power, Illinois has seen frequent changes to the Environmental Assessments of renewable energy assets. Apex clean energy offers landowners annual lease payments, and local contracting, and has proposed multiple site plans to address the amendments. Illinois's power mix is supported largely by nuclear power, which accounted for 53% of the state’s electricity generation in 2021. However, following the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the federal and state government's support for nuclear power plants will end in 2023 and 2027, respectively. Wind energy is clearly the next frontier for Illinois, accounting for 11% of total power generation last year. The development of wind farms in the state is led by major developers such as NextEra, Apex Clean Energy, and Invenergy.
The above analysis is proprietary to Enerdatics’ energy analytics team, based on the current understanding of the available data. The information is subject to change and should not be taken to constitute professional advice or a recommendation.