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Indiana Experiencing Surge In Wind Power Market

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Projections showed the project could generate $11 million in property tax revenue over 10 years, but a tax abatement package approved by the Madison County Council will lower the actual taxes due to about $5.1 million.

The AWEA says wind energy accounted for over $21 million in annual property tax payments by Indiana wind project owners in 2010.

That’s good for Elwood, Madison Co. and the state “not only now, but in the long-term,” Savage said. And “it’s put us (Elwood) on the map,” he said.

He’s taken to calling the portion of State Road 28 running between Alexandria and Elwood the “Renewable Energy Industrial Corridor” – a name he hopes will stick.

Wind energy supported 1,000 to 2,000 jobs in Indiana in 2010, says the AWEA. It also said “many smaller Indiana companies have found a role in the wind energy supply chain,” by building parts and wind equipment.

But on the national economic stage, Wildcat’s construction crews, along with others in the wind power market, are racing against a ticking clock.

When 2012 expires at midnight on Dec. 31, so too could a tax subsidy for new development that’s proven vital to the expansion of the wind industry, say proponents.

Melka said White Construction crews are on track to finish all of the 125 turbines in the first phase by that deadline. They had 106 finished.

But there are three more phases, he said. Two of those would involve building as many as 190 more turbines capable of producing a combined 225 megawatts of electricity to the north in Howard and Grant Counties.

The details for a fourth phase aren’t quite set, but could see an additional 100 to 250 megawatts of power produced in Tipton Co., he said.

That is, if Congress votes to give the tax credit a favorable wind.

Melka said phases three and four are “still too preliminary” to say, regardless of the credit. But for phase two, the tax credit will play a big part in deciding if it would go forward, he said.

And that’s true for much of the wind industry, said Michael Hicks, an economist at Ball State University.

While it might still be viable to use existing turbines, “if the incentives went away, it might mean we see less new or future investment,” he said.

U.S. tax credits tend more toward fossil fuels. That needs to change if there’s ever going to be a “real market for wind and manufacturing in the U.S. to compete globally,” said the AWEA. “The U.S. needs to provide a long-term, clear and consistent policy signal.”

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Posted by FanningCommunications on Jan 2nd, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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