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Wildcat Wind Farm hosts celebration

by on October 15, 2012

(Story by David Mayne)

Indiana Michigan Power Company is a step closer to adding 100 megawatts of wind power to its generation portfolio as the first power was generated from the Wildcat Wind Farm near Elwood, Ind., Oct. 9. 

E. ON Climate and Renewables hosted a community celebration to mark the event and express appreciation to the residents and landowners for their support in making the wind farm a reality in east central Indiana.

Wind turbines are sprouting up near the corn and soybean fields of Madison County, Ind. AEP and I&M representatives joined in the celebration of the Wildcat Wind Farm near Elwood. Pictured from left to right are: Joseph Karrasch, AEP manager, Assets Investments; Jay Godfrey, AEP managing director, Renewable Energy; Marc Lewis, V.P. External Relations, I&M; Scott Krawec, Director, Regulatory Affairs, I&M; and Sarah Bodner, Director, Communications, Community Relations and Economic Development, I&M.

More than 20 of the 125 wind turbines have been completely assembled at the site as crews work to have Wildcat-1, the first phase of the project, operational by the end of the year. Dedication ceremonies are typically held after construction is completed, but planners moved up the event to take advantage of more moderate weather.

The largest economic development project in Madison County began as Indiana Michigan Power considered its options to add more wind power to its generation portfolio and meet renewable power standards set by regulators.

Michigan currently has a renewable portfolio standard that requires all utilities to have 10 percent of the generating capacity come from renewable sources by 2015. Indiana has a voluntary renewable standard that sets a goal of 10 percent of the state’s power coming from clean energy sources by 2025.

Before agreeing to purchase power from the Wildcat Wind Farm, I&M studied the feasibility of owning and operating wind generation within its service territory. In the final analysis, purchasing power from E.ON, a company that previously built 16 wind farms and invested more than $4 billion in wind power in the U.S., was the most economical option for I&M’s customers. The site met I&M’s requirement that the site be within I&M’s service territory and connected to its transmission system.

I&M and AEP representatives were on hand for the celebration which was attended by hundreds of local residents and officials.

Marc Lewis, vice president of External Relations for I&M, took the occasion to remind the audience that the celebration was on the heels of the Columbus Day holiday, a day which marks the discovery of the new world by explorers who arrived in ships powered by the wind, and it is wind power that can propel greater economic development for nearby communities.

About 100 turbines will be assembled before Wildcat-1 goes operational by the end of 2012.

The Wildcat Wind Farm is the first wind energy project in Indiana for E. ON Climate and Renewables. When complete, it will mark the company’s 17th operational wind farm in North America with more than 2,500 MW online.

When operational, power from Wildcat will add 100 megawatts to the 150 megawatts that I&M currently purchases from the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in western Indiana.

From → Announcements

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