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Benton County wind farm project update  

The head of BP America was recently in Benton County to mark the construction of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm. President Robert Malone joined other dignitaries including Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at the event. The Governor’s office says when completed it will be one of the largest projects of its kind in the country with hundreds of turbine-powered windmills. BP hopes to have the first phase operational by the end of this year. In a written statement, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) calls the wind farm a historic milestone for the citizens of Benton County and for Indiana.”

BP says the second phase of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm will bring on an additional 350 megawatts. Construction of the second phase should begin early next year.

Our partners at WBAA in West Lafayette report BP America President Robert Malone says a pro-business climate in the state has helped make such a huge project possible.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says the country “needs more homegrown energy from every source, and the greener the better.” He made the comment during a ceremony to commemorate construction of the state’s largest wind farm. BP Alternative Energy says the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm will eventually generate enough carbon-free electricity to power more than 200,000 average American homes. The project is about 90 miles northwest of Indianapolis in Benton County. The first phase calls for more than 200 wind turbines and should be operational this year.

In Fowler in August BP Alternative Energy and Dominion welcomed Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at a project recognition and wind turbine blade signing ceremony to commemorate the construction of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County, Indiana. When in full operation, the wind farm will be one of the largest wind-power facilities in the world and will generate enough carbon-free electricity to power more than 200,000 average American homes.

Governor Daniels, who was joined by other state and local elected officials, landowners and community leaders said, “Indiana is becoming a leader in clean energy production, including wind, clean coal technology, biofuels and other alternatives. America needs more homegrown energy from every source, and the greener the better.”

Located about 90 miles northwest of Indianapolis, the project will be built in multiple phases. The first phase will utilize 222 wind turbines – 182 Vestas V-82 1.65 MW turbines and 40 Clipper C-96 2.5 MW turbines – producing 400 MW of clean energy and is expected to be operational by the end of 2008. Dominion and BP are partners for 650 MW of the 750 MW site, with BP retaining sole ownership of 100 MW. Phase two is expected to generate an additional 350 MW, bringing the total project output to 750 MW. Construction of a second phase could begin as early as 2009.

“The Fowler Ridge Wind Farm is just one example of BP’s continuing effort to expand and diversify U.S. energy supply,” said Bob Malone, chairman and president of BP America. “This year we will invest more than $6 billion in US energy projects with about 10 percent going to wind and solar power and biofuels research. By year end, we’ll have a thousand megawatts of wind power on line with plans to double that in two years.”

Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “The Fowler Ridge project is a vital part of Dominion’s growing portfolio of wind and other renewable generation. It also is an important part of our growing presence in the Midwest, where we have more than 3,500 megawatts of generation capacity in operation or under development.”

The Fowler Ridge wind farm will provide substantial benefits to the community, including new sources of revenue to local landowners, providers of goods and services, and taxing bodies. In addition, the project will create new jobs. Phase one of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm is expected to employ approximately 350 workers during peak construction and a full-time staff of more than 12 workers who will monitor and maintain the site after phase one has become fully operational.

Power from phase one of the development is under three long-term contracts, two each for 100 MW with Indiana Michigan Power and Appalachian Power, both subsidiaries of American Electric Power (AEP), and one contract with Dominion Energy Marketing for 200 MW.

By the end of 2008, BP Alternative Energy North America Inc. expects to generate over 1,000 MW of zero-carbon electricity.

WGFA Radio

28 July 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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