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Indiana Michigan Power has invited 250 residents of Jay, Randolph and Wayne counties to meetings next week to discuss the possibility of developing a wind farm. The electric utility is seeking people willing to lease their land to I&M for the installation of two or three 200-foot meteorological towers to collect wind data. If the data show that a wind farm is feasible, either I&M or a developer would plan to lease land for the installation of wind turbines, typically 50 to 70 of them, each taller than the Statue of Liberty with rotors the size of jumbo-jet wings, said I&M spokesman Mike Brian.
Indiana Michigan Power has a range of energy sources — coal, nuclear power, hydroelectric power. Eventually, wind could be added to the list. I&M announced Wednesday that it would place meteorological test sites in east-central Indiana to explore the economic and technical feasibility of building a wind farm in the area. This is the first time for I&M to do any wind testing in Indiana, said David Mayne, spokesman for I&M.
FOWLER -- U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar made several stops around Indiana on Monday supporting alternative energy sources. At a stop at an office here of Orion Energy LLC, Lugar said people need to change their thinking about energy. He said too many have the mentality that "there'll always be oil or natural gas -- there won't be. ... We need to forge our own energy dependence."
By a quirk of nature, a small pocket of Allen County has a wind flow fast enough to attract the interest of a company that builds wind farms to generate electricity.
Though the most visible aspect of the city’s electric assets is the former Lawton Park Generating Plant, which became Science Central, its most valuable feature is the distribution network. Even though the city can’t generate its own power anymore, it owns the wires and circuits through which power flows to homes and businesses. That could be a powerful trading chip in a world considering carbon markets and pollution credits. “We want to explore the current economic value of the current asset and look at possibilities not present in 1974,” Richard said. “If you control a distribution system, you may be in a very different position.” It may not make economic sense for the city to build a wind farm and lease it to I&M, Richard said, but no one knows until the question is explored. A recent federal court decision put new pressure on electric companies to clean up coal-fired power plants, which will increase the pressure to find alternative sources of power.
The St. Joseph County Council gave thumbs up Tuesday for a wind-measuring tower south of Mishawaka and a brand new drugstore north of South Bend.
A year ago, few believed Indiana had enough wind to generate electricity. Today, at least five developers are planning or prospecting for wind farms in Indiana, saying the potential exists to produce hundreds and maybe thousands of megawatts of electric power.
State Rep. Jack Lutz, R-Anderson, is facing criticism for opposing legislation to mandate the development of wind energy in Indiana. “Lutz’s response is that utilities should be free to set their own standards,” said rural Delaware County health worker Lee Ann Mengelt, a Democrat running for Lutz’s seat in the Nov. 7 election. Lutz said he opposed a proposed renewable electricity standard after co-chairing a legislative committee hearing that considered the issue in Muncie recently. The legislation would require each electricity supplier in Indiana to generate at least 10 percent of its total electricity from renewable energy sources — such as energy crops, organic waste, methane from landfills, solar cells and panels, fuel cells and wind — by 2017.
FOWLER -- Orion Energy LLC is moving closer to getting its Benton County wind farm project off the ground. The seven-member Benton County Council voted unanimously Thursday morning to approve a resolution that designates York and Richland townships as economic revitalization areas. That action clears the way for the council to consider a 10-year tax abatement for Orion. The company is planning to place a maximum of 135 electricity-generating wind turbines on farmland in the two townships in the northwest part of the county.
Wind-energy proponents did not convince state Rep. Jack Lutz on Tuesday that Indiana should require electric companies to generate at least 10 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2017. “I was very thrilled when I heard in August that Duke Energy did it voluntarily,” said Lutz, a Republican from Anderson who chairs the House Utilities and Energy Committee. “I think that’s proof we don’t need to mandate it.” Indiana’s first wind farm — to include up to 135 wind turbines — is under development on 10,000 acres in Benton County. Duke Energy Indiana has agreed to buy electricity from the project. During a day-long meeting Tuesday of the Indiana General Assembly’s Regulatory Flexibility Committee, which Lutz co-chairs, spokesmen said Indiana’s electric companies have been experimenting with generating electricity from the sun, animal waste, switch grass, wind and landfill gas.
With the state pushing the use of corn for gasoline, environmentalists and a group of farmers are fighting an uphill battle to have Indiana take a closer look at using windmills as power plants. The Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy and Economic Development plans to push for legislation to require electric companies to provide at least 10 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2017. Similar requirements are in place in 20 other states.......The bill faces stiff opposition from utilities and Gov. Mitch Daniels, who opposed a similar bill this year.
MUNCIE -- The ethanol industry in East Central Indiana is on the verge of a rapid expansion. Could that be followed by a wind energy boom? Yes, according to the Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy and Economic Development (INCREED), which is trying to build support for state legislation to jump-start the wind-power industry in Indiana. "One of the things we want to dispel is that we don't have any wind capacity in Indiana," said Grant Smith, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, during a trip to Muncie last week.
FOWLER -- No opposition to a wind farm project proposed for Benton County was expressed during a public meeting here Thursday night. But some people would like to see Orion Energy LLC bring a little more cash to the table. The Benton County Council held the meeting to take comments on a resolution that designates Richland and York townships as economic revitalization areas. That step is necessary before the council can consider providing a 10-year tax abatement to the Oakland, Calif.-based company which is designing a wind farm that would place a maximum of 135 electricity-generating wind turbines on farm land in the two townships.
WOODBURN, Ind. (AP) A Pennsylvania company will be allowed to build a 197-foot weather tower in northeastern Indiana. The tower will be used for determining whether winds in that area are strong enough to support a wind farm to generate electricity.
On Wednesday, the Allen County Board of Zoning Appeals gave Community Energy Inc. of Wayne, Pa., final approval to build a 190-foot meteorological mast on Coomer’s farmland on the 200 block of South State Line Road. The company will use the mast to analyze wind conditions at the site for up to five years, the first step toward building a wind farm. Coomer said he doesn’t know much about wind farms, but the idea to study wind in the area as an alternative source of energy was too interesting to pass up.
A Philadelphia company Tuesday received permission to test whether eastern Allen County is suitable for a wind farm. The Allen County Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved Community Energy’s request to establish a meteorological wind study facility along South State Line Road, south of Gar Creek Road. The company plans to build a 197-foot-tall tower to gauge whether the area has enough wind to establish a wind farm. Brian Cocca, wind development associate with Community Energy, said the tower – or mast – will be a temporary structure that is solar powered.
Members of the Allen County Board of Zoning Appeals will discuss a proposal to build a 200-foot tower on the eastern edge of the county to study wind speed, consistency and other weather conditions.
MISHAWAKA -- The hills on the south side of the city could become the site for an energy-producing wind turbine -- if an 18-month study reveals there's enough wind to turn it.
A day after a landmark energy security summit in West Lafayette, a coalition of farm and consumer groups want to blow new life into the push for wind-generated electricity in Indiana. The Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy and Economic Development (ICREED) wants the state to pass a renewable electricity standard, which would require 10 percent of Indiana's electricity to be generated from sources such as wind and bio-mass by 2017.
Aug. 30 -- Duke Energy Corp. has agreed to buy up to 100 megawatts of wind energy from Orion Energy LLC´s Benton County, Ind., wind farm, which is under development.