Illinois boosts wind power production

Illinois has been increasing production of wind energy and adding new jobs. The state's renewable energy production has created 15,000 new jobs, according to ChicagoNow. Approximately 17 manufacturing jobs are added for every megawatt of wind power developed, which means more than 2,500 jobs are created to run a 150 megawatt wind farm. Most of these jobs are at small or mid-sized companies. With new opportunities arising in the manufacturing and energy sectors, firms can benefit from using Chicago staffing services to find skilled applicants for new positions.

Illinois' progress in wind power is impressive considering the state ranks 14th in wind resources, but was fifth in new capacity in 2012. The increased capabilities have resulted in part from technological improvements, including taller wind towers and bigger blades. 

Growth of Midwestern renewable energy industry
This week, MidAmerican Energy announced plans to invest $1.9 billion in Iowa for additional wind power projects, The Des Moines Register reported. Adding the infrastructure for renewable energy sources is a lasting investment and can improve the economy in states with wind farms. The expansion is predicted to stabilize electricity costs in the long term and create jobs. 

In Chicago, McCormick Place officials announced last week that 100 percent of the convention center's power will be offset with renewable wind energy credits, according to The Chicago Tribune. McCormick Place may not be able to source energy exclusively from Illinois wind farms because most renewable energy credits are already tied up elsewhere, but the adoption of wind power is a positive influence on demand. 

"Moving to 100 percent wind energy will increase job opportunities and economic development, while moving toward a sustainable future for the city of Chicago," Mayor Rahm Emanuel told The Chicago Tribune. "It is also clear proof that sustainability can go hand in hand with the creating of a vibrant, thriving business environment."

Wind power leading to new education programs
As wind production increases in Illinois and the renewable energy industry is positioned to create new jobs, education is catching up. Illinois State University founded the Center for Renewable Energy in 2008, a program seeking to educate students in an interdisciplinary variety of energy technology, ISU's Stories magazine stated. The program allows new graduates to go straight from college to working at a wind farm. Wind power development requires energy works to collaborate with nearby farmers and landowners, and the program prepares students for the demands of energy careers.

As wind energy becomes increasingly significant in the Midwest, firms can count on renewable energy recruiters to match them with top talent.