Governor Quinn announced a project labor agreement Tuesday that would create 1,450 union construction jobs over a three-year construction period.
The agreement is between Rock Island Clean Line LLC and Flora, Illinois-based Southwire Company and will support wind turbine and transmission manufacturing in Illinois.
The Rock Island Clean Line Project will consist of approximately 500-mile overhead, high voltage direct current transmission line that will deliver 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. Southwire will supply the overhead transmission cable for the project.
"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," Clean Line President Michael Skelly said. "We are excited to work with Southwire on a project that will power Illinois homes and businesses with clean energy. 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."
The project will enable about $7 billion worth of investments in new wind energy projects to move forward. These projects cannot be constructed today due to the lack of transmission. The project will allow greater access to low-cost clean wind energy in Illinois and will deliver enough energy to power more than 1.4 million homes in the Midwest.
According to a study by Illinois State University, wind energy in Illinois generates $22.2 million in annual property taxes and supports nearly 600 permanent jobs as well as over 13,000 construction jobs.