Despite being ranked just 14th nationally in terms of wind quality, Illinois has the fourth biggest wind power generating capacity in the U.S., thanks to the state's renewable portfolio standard and a "great balance of proximity to load, wind resources and developable areas," according to Rob Gramlich, interim CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. The group's WINDPOWER conference will take place in Chicago May 5 to 8. "Illinois's gone from zero to more than 3,500 MW (since its first installation in 2003)," Gramlich said.

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