Articles from Indiana

Pros, cons of wind power evaluated

Within the next few years, dozens of wind turbines could be erected in Randolph County ... Indianapolis attorney Christopher (Kit) Earle, of Bose McKinney & Evans, advised farmers attending the meeting that land lease payments were just one issue they should address in a contract with energy companies. Other issues include access roads to the wind turbine for construction, operation and maintenance; soil compaction; escalation of lease payments to take inflation into account during the 20- to 40-year life span of the wind farm; underground electrical cables and their impact on cultivation and drainage tiles; fixed payments versus royalties or percentage of revenues from a wind farm; negotiating as a group because of safety-in-numbers advantages; and decommissioning turbines when they are no longer useful.
18 Nov 2007

Wind farm issues include bird kills and appearance

Randolph County farmer Eric Bentz looks forward to leasing some of his ground to a wind-energy company but is concerned about how others will react. "It could be a decent source of stable revenue as long as people can can accept how they look," Bentz said after a wind-energy meeting last week sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau. Mary Ferris, president of Randolph County Farm Bureau, agreed. "Some people will not like the big tall structures," she said. "But we've got to do something to produce our own energy."
13 Nov 2007

Multiple wind farms possible locally; Energy companies contacting East Central Indiana land owners about easements.

Several companies are expressing interest in developing wind farms in Randolph, Jay and Wayne counties. "Land owners in those counties are being approached by wind development people," said Tom Chalfant, president of the Randolph County Farm Bureau. "I'd guess 200 or 300 or more have been approached or would be affected by these projects." ...But as wind farms are developed in Indiana, "we need to give consideration to local concerns like property values and birds and bats," Menzer said. "We need to be sensitive to local concerns. We don't want to steamroll people like we've done with hog farms, merchant power plants and ethanol plants."
5 Nov 2007

Public ready to be heard on Knox power plant

Supporters and opponents of Duke Energy's plans to build a new coal gasification power plant in Knox County are preparing for a public hearing this evening in Bloomington before the state's utility regulators. ..."We see this as a quantum leap in electric power generation," said John Goss, executive director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation. Coal gasification plants are "at least 10 times better at removing air pollution," he said. He also believes the proposed plant would emit about 90 percent less mercury than the existing Edwardsport plant, which was built in the 1950s. The proposed plant also would be welcome since it would open the door to study further large-scale capturing of carbon emissions, Goss said.
29 Aug 2007

Cities, county pass ordinance governing wind turbines

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.
7 Aug 2007

Tippecanoe County Commissioners Approve New Regulations on Wind Energy

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.
6 Aug 2007

Carmel ponders windmill power

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).
6 Jun 2007

Ordinance considered for wind turbines

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.
1 May 2007

Wind farm to take root in Benton

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."
24 Mar 2007

Ethanol Reaps a Backlash In Small Midwestern Towns

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.
23 Mar 2007

Wind energy, the future of Remington?

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.
23 Feb 2007

Indiana Michigan Power is setting up test sites in Jay and Randolph counties

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.
28 Jan 2007

Carmel Mayor Investigating Using Windmills

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.
18 Nov 2006

Blowing in the wind? -Utility sees potential energy harnessed by wind farm

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.
9 Nov 2006

I&M scouts East Central Indiana sites for possible wind farm

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.
3 Nov 2006

I&M to test wind in Indiana as possible new energy source

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.
26 Oct 2006

Lugar stumps for alternate energy

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."
24 Oct 2006

City seeks plan before light lease goes dark

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.
15 Oct 2006
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