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Wind power, electricity generated by capturing the wind's energy with modern wind turbines, is one of the lowest-cost renewable electricity alternatives currently available. Wind power is a clean, domestic electricity resource that has seen a tremendous amount of growth and technology improvement over the past several years.
Utility-scale wind farms can provide rural areas with significant investment and offer farmers new sources of revenue by opening their land to new energy development, while at the same time allowing present farming activities to continue virtually unchanged.
Small-scale wind installations can reduce dependency on the central electric grid and decrease monthly electric bills for residences, small businesses and schools.
Indiana possesses viable wind resources in much of the northern half of the state (maps). As wind power technology improves, wholesale markets increase and green energy becomes more valuable, Indiana can maximize its wind resources by selling wind power into markets with higher electricity costs. This would allow wind producers to find the best markets without jeopardizing Indiana's low electricity rates. As of 2011, wind energy made up 2.7% of Indiana's electricity generation.
For more information about wind energy, please contact OED's Program Director for Renewables, Megan Ottesen.
As of 12/19/2014, 930 turbines produce 1,743.2 MW. These projects sell wind power to Indiana utilities or to buyers out-of-state.
Large-scale Projects Installed
Benton County Wind Farm (Orion Energy Group)
Installed: 87 turbines; 131 MW
Fowler Ridge Wind Farm (BP) – Benton County
Installed: 355 turbines; 600 MW
Headwaters Wind Farm (EDP Renewables)
Installed: 100 turbines; 200 MW
Hoosier Wind Project (EnXco) – Benton County
Installed: 53 turbines; 106 MW
Meadow Lake Wind Farm (Horizon Wind Energy) – White County
Installed: 303 turbines; 501.2 MW
Wildcat Wind Farm (E.ON Climate & Renewables) – Madison, Tipton Counties
Installed: 125 turbines; 200 MW
As of 2014, Indiana has about 3509 kW (3.5 MW) of small wind projects around the state. These projects provide electricity directly to Hoosier homes and businesses, and they net meter with the local utility.
When considering your options for small wind turbines, ask your contractor if the wind turbines he or she provides meet the AWEA 9.1-2009 Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard for turbines with a capacity of 65 kilowatts or less. The Small Wind Certification Council and a test laboratory called Intertek provide lists of turbines that have been certified to meet this standard.
Net metering: Net metering prorgams allow customers to receive credit on their utility bills for the energy that their wind energy system produces. Meters essentially run backwards to track your energy production and result in lower monthly energy bills. System capacity size must be equal or less than 1 MW. The following utilities offer net metering programs: Duke Energy, Indiana Michigan and Power Company (I&M), Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), and Vectren.
Feed-In-Tarriff (FIT): The utility Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) will pay a certain amount for each kW that a small wind turbine produces. A 100kW or less system would earn $0.17/kWh, and a system of 100kW-2MW would earn $0.10/kWh. The program will accept applications until all slots are filled.
Wind Energy Rebates: Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) offers a Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program to both residential and small to medium-sized commercial and industrial customers. The program will provide incentive payments of up to $4,000 per system: $1.00 per Watt installed. Maximum size: 49.9 kW. Learn more from IPL.
Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption: For any wind system producing electricity installed after December 31, 2011, the assessed value of the system is exempt from property taxes. Property owners that wish to claim this deduction must fill out Form 18865 and file it with the local county auditor. Questions about this incentive should be directed to the local auditor or assessor. The Department of Local Government Finance outlines the incentive.
Indiana Sales Tax Incentive for Electrical Generating Equipment: equipment, machinery, and tools used in the production of renewable electricity are eligible for this exemption.
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants and loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in rural communities and on farms. Contact your local USDA office for more information.
Business Energy Investment Tax Credit: The credit is equal to 30% of expenditures, with no maximum credit. Eligible small wind property includes wind turbines up to 100 kW in capacity. This credit expires 12/31/16. Learn more here.
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit: Tax credit of 30% of cost with no upper limit. Applies to small wind turbines with a nameplate capacity of no more than 100 kilowatts. This tax credit includes installation costs. Expiration: December 31, 2016. Learn more here.