ISGS data inform siting decisions for energy companies in Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., 2/7/22Green energy companies seeking sites for windfarm and solar power plant development in Illinois are targeting industrially zoned settings, such as land around active and abandoned coal mines and oil fields. When considering siting decisions, companies can rely on the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) to provide extensive databases and maps on the state’s geologic and mine information to save potential trouble with collapsed land.

Energy companies look for sites with preexisting industrial-scale electric hookups or, in the case of active mines, onsite electrical demands to save time and money.

“Changing zoning designations, whether urban or rural, is a time-intensive and expensive process, so already industrially zoned locations are enticing,” said Scott Elrick, ISGS geologist. “This also requires a thorough understanding of the underlying geology, including geologic hazards, potential subsurface environmental concerns, and the potential for preexisting subsurface infrastructure such as mined out areas and abandoned oil wells.”

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