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Apex signs agreement with power company

WAYNETOWN – A northern Indiana power company will purchase electricity generated by Apex Clean Energy’s Roaming Bison wind farm, which is expected to begin spinning by late 2020, the companies announced Friday.

Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Company signed a 300-megawatt purchase agreement with Apex for the 107-turbine farm being developed near Waynetown.

The 20-year agreement will allow NIPSCO to power up to 80,000 U.S. homes as the company replaces its coal-fired power plants with wind, solar and battery powered technology.

“Making the transition to renewable energy is critical to our long-term plan to move toward a more affordable and sustainable energy future,” NIPSCO president Violet Sistovaris said in a statement.

NIPSCO was taking advantage of “strong, local wind resources” and “low generation costs” to purchase the electricity, Apex president and CEO Mark Goodwin said in a statement.

“At the same time, the vital community support shown by the residents of Montgomery County will yield tremendous returns in terms of economic benefits – both to the county and to the landowners involved in the project,” Goodwin said.

The project is one of two wind farms currently in the works for Montgomery County.

A subsidiary of Chicago-based Akuo Energy USA is building a 104-turbine farm east of U.S. 231 in Madison and Sugar Creek Townships. More than 80 landowners are participating, with land secured for a second phase.

Critics say the farms will bring down property values, exacerbate health problems and harm the environment. Last year, Alamo and Darlington passed ordinances restricting wind turbines in a four-mile radius. Citizen group No Wind Farm Montgomery County is speaking out against a bill sponsored by State Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville, to stop other cities and towns from taking similar moves.