Students tour co-op wind turbine in Brown County

Some Western Illinois University students recently had the opportunity to tour a new wind turbine in Brown County, thanks to the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) Wind Energy Program. According to the IIRA, which is housed at WIU, 12 students — whose areas of major study include renewable energy and wind technology in WIU’s interdisciplinary studies program, manufacturing engineering systems, and recreation, park and tourism administration — were invited to experience the first utility-scale 1.5 megawatt turbine at a Nov. 1 Adams Electric Cooperative open house event.

The new co-op wind turbine, which stands 279 feet to the hub and 403 feet to the blade tip, will generate enough power for 300-400 homes each year. The cooperative’s newest wind turbine, located east of Mt. Sterling, has been in operation since the beginning of September.

“We were excited to provide our students with an opportunity that would allow them to have a hands-on educational experience,” said IIRA Wind Energy Program Coordinator Jolene Willis.

For more information about how the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs works to promote alternative energy in Illinois, visit More information is also available at