Mount Pulaski, Ill.
Enel Group's $325 million wind farm project on remote central Illinois farmland this year may set a standard for auto industry infrastructure, if all goes as planned. The HillTopper Wind Farm, expected to become fully operational this month 25 miles northeast of Springfield, is intended to use wind-generated electricity to run General Motors factories around the Midwest. GM has targeted 100 percent reliance on renewable energy globally by 2050. The automaker additionally has committed to pulling factory power from the new Northwest Ohio Wind Farm, which began operating in October in Paulding County, Ohio, generating 100 megawatts of electricity for GM plants in Ohio and Indiana, including its big truck plant in Fort Wayne, Ind. If other automakers follow suit for competitive reasons, energy companies such as Italy's Enel and Michigan's CMS Energy may be in demand for similar megaproject wind farms wherever auto plants are clustered or being recruited.