In 2010, the EIA estimates Indiana released more than 116 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to produce its electricity, 4.9 percent of the county’s total. It also released 384,961 metric tons of sulfur dioxide and 120,437 metric tons of nitrogen oxide.
But that could change.
Indiana has a wind resource of 148,228 megawatts, the 15th biggest in the country, according to industry trade group the American Wind Energy Association.
That might be one reason for a recent surge in its wind power market. In 2011, turbines made 2.7 percent of the state’s total energy, enough to power 325,000 homes, it said.
In May 2011, Indiana voluntarily adopted a Clean Energy Portfolio Standard, which, by 2025, aims to see 10 percent of its electric generation produced by clean sources like solar and wind.
Indiana “has a pretty significant wind resource that’s not being exploited,” Rice-Snow said.
Not counting Wildcat, there are 11 wind projects installed in Indiana, according to the state’s Office of Energy Development. That’s a grand total of 805 up-and-running turbines, generating 1,343.2 megawatts.
There are more projects on the horizon. For example, in November, the Tipton County Council approved an application from juwi Wind energy group to put up to 94 wind turbines in Prairie Township, starting as soon as 2015. Instate, the AWEA says there are 8,426 megawatts-worth of wind projects in queue.
E.ON Climate and Renewables estimates every megawatt of wind power is equivalent to taking 315 cars off the road, and avoids the release of 1,800 tons of CO2 per year.
That’s one reason Terry Williams and his family agreed when E.ON approached them about the turbines, seven of which will be on land owned by members of his family and their corporation.
He remembers unloading corn with his 8-year-old granddaughter while workers were building the closest turbine to his house, said Williams, 63, of Elwood.
He likes the financial incentives, but the environmental ones are good for the future of his family, too, he said. “We’re going to be part of the solution.”
And, on a broader scale, there’s the boost to the local economy, said Elwood planning commission president Bill Savage.<< previous 1 2 3 next >>