Articles from Indiana
A new set of rules will govern the building and use of wind turbines in Lafayette, West Lafayette and rural Tippecanoe County. The two city councils and the county commissioners approved an ordinance Monday that will regulate where the wind turbines, which generate electricity, may stand within each of their jurisdictions. The new rules are in response to the likelihood that a company will soon want to build a wind farm -- or large number of the turbines -- in the county, as is already happening in Benton County.
Despite concern from several farmers Tippecanoe County Commissioners passed a new Wind Energy Ordinance. County Commissioners had disagreed about the issue, but the measure passed two to one. Area Planners say there is a growing interest in wind farming in Tippecanoe County, and they expect some wind turbines to start popping up soon. To prepare for that, County Commissioners passed an ordinance that regulates where and how the farms can be built. Some farmers are concerned about how this ordinance will affect their property. "We need some kind of regulation to make sure that there's a proper setback from residential areas because 400 megawatts in your backyard, I'm sure most people would not be interested in having that," said farmer Brian Vorst.
Fields of large energy-producing windmills are being touted as one of the solutions to America's dependence on fossil fuels from other nations. But how about in Carmel, Indiana? It's a idea that is currently blowing in the wind. In Carmel the Monon can help your health, the roundabouts can save you time and the city is currently exploring a new way of saving taxpayers money. "The goal would be to, per windmill, save $100,000 to $150,000 a year," said Mayor Jim Brainard (R-Carmel).
PORTLAND -- The Jay County Planning Commission is considering an ordinance governing the construction of electric generating wind turbines. At least two companies have expressed an interest in building wind farms in the county. The commission has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed ordinance for 8 p.m. May 10 in the auditorium of the Jay County Courthouse. If the planning commission approves the ordinance, it will then be sent to the Jay County Commissioners for final action.
EARL PARK -- Plans for a wind energy project in this part of Benton County have been scaled back somewhat, and are being handled by a new company. But spinning steel turbines should soon be dotting farmlands in Richland and York townships, using the wind to generate electricity. "Everything in terms of permits is in place. All of that is done," said Turner Hunt, project manager for Orion Energy Group, which is developing the wind energy project. "We're right now to the point of bringing on general contractors and sub-contractors. We're talking about making it a reality."
CAMBRIA, Wis. -- With empty storefronts on the main drag and corn stubble stretching for miles in the surrounding hills, this fading farm town seems like a natural stop for the ethanol express. Not to John Mueller, though. The 54-year-old stay-at-home dad has led a dogged battle to prevent a corn mill from building an ethanol plant up the hill from the village school. Concerned about air pollution, the water supply and the mill's environmental track record, Mr. Mueller and his group, Cambrians for Thoughtful Development, have blitzed the village's 800 residents with fliers, packed public meetings and set up a sophisticated Web site. The mill has fought back with its own publicity campaign and local corn farmers have taken to the streets in tractors to show support. Now, as the mill races to build the $70 million plant, the matter is headed to the federal courthouse in Madison, 40 miles southwest.
It seems that several energy companies are looking at rural areas in White County, looking for potential sites to develop wind farms locally. According to Connie Neininger, Economic Development Director for White County, three companies are looking to the White County area. The companies are Horizon Wind Energy, Invenergy LLC, and Catamount Energy Corporation. Local landowners in White County have been approached about being a source for wind energy.
PORTLAND — A proposed wind farm could possibly generate a $175 million investment in Jay County within two years. Mike Brian, corporate communications manager for Indiana Michigan Power in Fort Wayne, said his company plans to have at least one and perhaps two or three test sites ready to go this spring to determine if there is enough wind power in the area to generate electricity. “We are setting up a couple of test sites in Jay and Randolph counties and perhaps one at the northern edge of Wayne County,” Brian said last week. “The technology on wind generators is improving so that sites not considered in the past are being considered now.” The test sites are expected to be operational this spring.
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard is not blowing hot air when he talks about investigating a different way to generate electricity at the sewer plant. He is thinking about a windmill. They are not uncommon out west, but you do not see many windmills generating power in the Midwest. “The testing we’ll do will confirm whether it’s a cost effective measure or not,” said Mayor Brainard.
Carmel soon will begin testing to determine whether to install a windmill at the city’s sewer plant. Mayor Jim Brainard first announced the concept during his state of the city address Nov. 1.
Northeastern Wayne County could become home to a wind farm if test towers show it's windy enough to profitably generate electricity there. Indiana Michigan Power has invited 250 residents of Jay, Randolph and Wayne counties to private meetings this week to discuss the possibility of developing a wind farm. The utility is looking for land owners willing to lease some land to I&M for the installation of two or three 200-foot towers to collect wind data.
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.