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Rivian wants wind turbine to power electric vehicles made in Normal

Wind turbine
Wind turbine(Pixabay)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 9:10 PM CDT
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NORMAL (Heart of Illinois ABC) - A wind turbine would tower above the Rivian plant in west Normal if the town’s government signs off on the electric vehicle maker’s plans next month.

The company’s wind project aims to deliver to customers its pickup and sport utility vehicles charged with on-site renewable energy.

Earlier this year, Rivian said it installed a 783-kilowatt solar canopy that is scheduled to start generating electricity later this summer.

In its application to the town’s government, Rivian said the wind turbine would be no taller than 510 feet to meet Normal’s wind energy code. Rivian also estimated nine local taxing bodies, including the Unit 5 School District, would get a share of almost $600,000 in new property tax revenue over 25 years.

Rivian said in a news release the turbine would have white, non-reflective blades, and would be located inside Rivian’s vehicle test track on the east side of its campus.

Rivian's proposed wind turbine to be located inside its vehicle test track in Normal
Rivian's proposed wind turbine to be located inside its vehicle test track in Normal(Town of Normal/Rivian)

“To us, our job isn’t done when our vehicles come off the line,” Andrew Peterman, Rivian’s Director of Renewable Energy, said in a prepared statement.

“While we’re working hard to help electrify transportation, we’re also pushing to accelerate the shift to carbon-free electricity for all. This wind turbine is an early step on that path, and it’s also a beacon of our vision for a clean energy future,” Peterman also said.

Rivian said the turbine is designed for a capacity of at least 2.8 megawatts capable of generating almost 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity - enough to power 890 average homes in the U.S.

During its 25 year lifetime, Rivian said the turbine could avoid about 177,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, equal to taking roughly 34,000 internal combustion engine vehicles off the road for one year.

Rivian said it has signed the Climate Pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.

The Normal Planning Commission will consider next month whether to approve Rivian’s request for a special use permit and site plan amendment. The Normal Town Council will have the final say.

Also, Rivian is inviting the public to attend a forum and open house scheduled for June 29, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Heartland Community College’s Astroth Center.

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