You may have noticed several dozen more of those giant wind turbines popping up in Henry County.

That’s because the Bishop Hill Wind Project is wrapping up it’s third and final phase. 

The three-phase project has been in the works since 2006. Invenergy broke ground on the third phase in September 2017. 

In the first phase, 133 turbines were resurrected, followed by 50 more in phase two, and now 53 more will be added through phase three. 

Phase one was eventually sold to TerraForm Power, and Phase 2 was sold to MidAmerican Energy. 

Over the last nine months, over 150 construction workers have been busy trying to complete the third phase by mid-2018. Now just a few weeks away from completion, Local 4 News took a closer look at what these 500-foot machines do, and what they mean for local households. 

With all three phases complete, the wind farm is expected to power 492,897 homes annually. 

The latest wave of wind turbines in phase 3 are expected to produce an additional 400,000 megawatts per year. The newest machines in the third phase are 2.5 megawatt per hour machines. 

Growing up in Cambridge, Travis Casteel has watched these giant machines sprout up one by one for years now. Casteel is the Operations Manager for the local Invenergy site. 

He says his favorite part is the view from the top. 

“There’s certainly something to be said for getting up there and catching a good view sometimes,” said Casteel.

He says at first, like his neighbors, he was hesitant about the idea of the wind turbines so close to home. 

“It was just one of those things at the beginning that everyone was just entirely unsure of and even after they first went up I was unsure of them, I just didn’t know enough about them.” 

But after watching the project come together first-hand, he says he’s happy to see what it means for his hometown. 

“But once I  knew more about them and knew what they were all about, it was pretty easy to get on board with,” said Casteel. 

The steel machines weigh in at over 350,000 pounds a piece. Casteel says once they’re up, it’s highly unlikely for one to come tumbling down.  

“It would take a pretty catastrophic event,” he said.

Casteel says the average lifespan of one wind turbine is about 30 years. 

For the Alwood School District, they say the wind has been blowing their way for the better. Superintendent Shannon Bumann says it’s like adding $53 million in their back yard. Bumann says they will receive thousands of dollars from taxes as a result of the project. 

“We’ll have the opportunity to finally put some money in the bank,” said Bumann, who went on to say it’s big sigh of relief.

“In my 20 years as a Superintendent, I’ve never been able to say ‘What are we going to do with this money?'” 

And Bumann says the school district is already planning to work the technology into their curriculum.  

“It’s neat when you have that project in your backyard running and working and the kids can see it and learn from it.” 

Bumann says he’s excited not just from an educators standpoint, but as a local homeowner. He says he has his family watched one go up piece by piece just half a mile from his backyard. 

As far as pushback from neighbors, Bumann says some seem to voice concerns over the look of the massive machines, and the noise. 

“That person that looks at that tower and says ‘boy that’s ugly,’ I think your tax bill is going to show that it’s not so ugly in the future,” said Bumann.

And overall, neighbors have become big fans of what this project means in the long run.  

“I mean the wind isn’t going anywhere,” said Casteel. “We can take some of the non-renewable resources obviously and get by for now, but at some point we’ve got to find a way to replace it.” 

The project is expected to wrap up in just a few weeks, but the company says energy production from phase three is already well underway.