The biggest change to the downstate Illinois landscape over the past ten to 15 years has been the number of wind turbines that dot the horizon. Wind energy has grown to be a pretty big industry in the state.
According to a recent study by the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, wind farms as they are called bring in about $6 billion to the local economy over their life span.
The center is the result of collaboration between ISU's Departments of Economics, Technology and Agriculture. It's headed up by David Loomis, an economics professor at ISU.