Wind Energy Basics
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.
As of August 25, 2015, Indiana has about 1,758.6 MW projects installed, most of which are due to utility-scale wind farms.
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.
Wind Energy Potential in Indiana
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 allows 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.
Large Scale Wind Farms in Indiana
As of 05/15/2017, 1,095 turbines produce 1,893 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; 130.5 MW
Fowler Ridge Wind Farm (BP) – Benton County
Installed: 355 turbines; 749.8 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; 507.8 MW
Purdue Energy Park (Performance Services) – Tippecanoe County
Installed: 12 turbines, 20.4 MW
Wildcat Wind Farm (E.ON Climate & Renewables) – Madison, Tipton Counties
Installed: 125 turbines; 200 MW
Small Wind Turbines for Homes or Businesses
As of 2014, Indiana has about 4,492 kW (4.49 MW) of small wind projects around the state. Some projects provide power directly to the local electric utility, but most projects provide electricity directly to Hoosier homes and businesses.
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.
How to Fund a Small-scale Wind Project:
Net metering: Net metering programs 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.
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 agricultural producers and rural businesses with grants and loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 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. The credit for small wind turbines expires 12/31/16. Eligible small wind property includes wind turbines up to 100 kW in capacity. The credit for large wind turbines is reduced to 24% after 12/31/16, 18% after 12/31/17, and 12% after 12/31/18. This credit for large wind turbines expires 12/31/19.
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, 2021.
- Small Wind Electric System: An Indiana Consumer Guide
- Wind Energy Facts: Indiana
- Indiana Wind Working Group
- County Wind Ordinances
- Indiana Wind Maps & Reports
- Small Wind Installers & Incentives
- Wind Energy Guide for County Commissioners
- U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America
- American Wind Energy Association
- Utility Wind Integration Group
- National Wind Technology Center
- National Wind Coordinating Committee
- North American Wind Power (publication)
- Bergey Windpower (small wind systems)
- Southwest Windpower (small wind systems)