Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative — Gob Nob Turbine
Using a $375,000 REAP grant and additional assistance from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the RECC constructed its first wind turbine atop the 60-foot heap of coal tailings left over from the mine’s active days.
Dubbed the “Gob Nob” by locals, the 900 kW turbine began generating power for the RECC’s 300 members in the Farmersville area on March 4, 2009.
The RECC is the second rural electric cooperative in Illinois to construct a wind turbine, following the lead set by the Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative of Winchester two years earlier. Close behind the RECC is the Adams Electric Cooperative of Camp Point, which received a REAP grant in 2007.
Rural electric cooperatives are tax exempt entities so they cannot use the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC). REAP makes up some of the difference in lost incentives. While the “Gob Nob” is the first turbine that the co-op has commissioned, it may not be the last. “The door is open,” said Dana Smith, Director of Member & Public Relations for the RECC. “There is the possibility of up to three turbines at the same site.”
“We need to see what kind of funding is available,” noted Smith. “For our project to succeed, we needed that assistance.”
In the meantime, wind atop the Gob Nob will be blowing, waiting for the turbines that will power the region in a clean, renewable, and reliable way.