The Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance is adding new fuel behind proposed plans for the Lincoln Land Energy Center (LLEC). The development is a proposed 1,090-megawatt natural gas-fueled combined-cycle facility located just south of Pawnee in Sangamon County. A recently updated economic impact study, completed by Northern Illinois University, indicates the project will generate $1.53 billion in economic output during construction and will create more than 1,000 direct and secondary jobs.

“Opportunities like the LLEC development rarely come along in our lifetimes,” said Ryan McCrady, president and CEO of the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance. “This would certainly be one of the largest private investments in our region. The developer’s desire to utilize our community’s highly skilled workers to construct the facility significantly increases the economic impact and benefits in our community. This investment will be a catalyst for additional developments in our region.”

Construction of the Lincoln Land Energy Center will occur in two phases and is expected to begin in 2021. The development team includes EmberClear, Siemens Energy and Bechtel Power Holdings, LLC. Overall, the construction project is expected to directly employ between 350-500 workers through the entire phase of construction ending in 2027 and require approximately 700 construction-related jobs at its peak in 2022.

“This project would not only provide good-paying job opportunities for hundreds of workers, it can also spur economic growth throughout the entire central Illinois region and set the groundwork for future opportunities,” said Aaron Gurnsey, financial secretary/treasurer for Central Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council.

The first unit is expected to be operational in 2024 and will employ approximately 30 full-time workers while the second phase is being built. Once fully operational, 34 workers will be employed. The plant is expected to create 110 additional indirect and induced jobs as well.

The Citizens Club of Springfield will hold a public policy forum on Friday, Oct. 23 from 8-9 a.m. It will be streamed live from the city council chambers and can be viewed live on the City of Springfield’s website, Facebook Live on the Citizen’s Club Facebook page or on Comcast channel 18. More information about the project can be found at https://emberclear.com/lincoln-land/.