natural gas


600 megawatts

case study

Nelson Energy Center

How it came together
Nelson Energy Center’s story, like Invenergy’s as a whole, is a story of transition. It began when we purchased the half-completed facility in 2004 from a bankruptcy proceeding, where 1,000 construction workers had been put out of work. Resuming construction in 2013, the 600-megawatt natural-gas combined-cycle project, located in Lee County, Illinois, achieved its commercial operation date in May 2015.
In 2022, Invenergy announced Nelson Energy Center would start working with Sauk Valley to develop our first clean hydrogen project. The hydrogen project will generate clean energy from a nearby solar facility. The clean hydrogen project is expected to become operational in 2024.
What sets it apart
At the time Nelson was built, crews installed state-of-the-art, combustion and steam turbines to help maximize the site’s energy output and efficiency while also reducing its emissions. Nelson also has an on-site water treatment plant to help purify the water the site uses.
However, that’s far from where Nelson’s story ends. Invenergy’s leadership team saw the potential to use the site for much more. So, in 2022, we announced our Sauk Valley clean hydrogen pilot project, which will be located on five acres of land near Nelson Energy Center. Invenergy will power the hydrogen facility with clean energy, using our expertise in co-locating clean energy technologies to pair the site with Sauk Valley’s nearby solar array. The clean hydrogen facility is expected to generate up to 40 tons of clean hydrogen annually, with the capacity for 400 kilograms of hydrogen to be stored on site. Invenergy expects to ship most of the surplus hydrogen offsite to be used for other purposes.
What's the impact
As well as bringing clean energy to Lee County and the surrounding areas, Nelson Energy Center’s construction employed 350 workers, and the site is operated and maintained by more than two dozen full-time employees. Nelson and its expansion generate enough energy to power more than 379,000 homes annually, and the project has invested more than $990,000 into the community through state and local taxes, as well as more than $3.7 million in wages and benefits.
Once Invenergy’s clean hydrogen pilot project is operational, Nelson will represent the transformation of the clean energy industry. It will also serve as a proven testing ground for accelerating that transition in the Midwest, with three clean energy technologies located on site.

Clean Energy

  • Wind
  • Solar
  • Storage
  • Offshore Wind
  • Transmission
  • Clean Hydrogen
  • Clean Water
  • Natural Gas

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