New Report Finds Major Construction Project Set to Provide $1.53 Billion in Economic Impact


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; approximately 20 miles south of Springfield. A recently updated economic impact study, commissioned by the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance (SSGA) and 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,” says Ryan McCrady, President & 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 is an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day and the highly-skilled men and women of the Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council are looking forward to making this project a success,” said Aaron Gurnsey, Financial Secretary-Treasurer for Central Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council. “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.”

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 with an average salary range of $100,000 to $120,000 will be employed. The plant is expected to create 110 additional indirect and induced jobs as well. Specific economic benefits to Springfield & Sangamon County identified in the report include the following:

  • $3 million upfront payment to the City of Springfield to purchase Right-Of-Way
  • Annual payment for 25 years to the City of Springfield starting at $800,000 with a 2% yearly escalator
  • Contract for water services expected to bring in an additional $348,000 a year to the City of Springfield
  • Revenue to the Village of Pawnee through a hosting agreement
  • Property tax revenue for local taxing districts including Pawnee School District, Sangamon County, and Lincoln Land Community College

The economic impact study was commissioned by the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance (SSGA) and completed by Northern Illinois University. These types of studies provide an independent quantification of economic impacts of community projects which, in this case, highlight the economic benefits to Springfield and Sangamon County. More information about the project can be found at

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