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Developer meets deadline on central Indiana wind farm

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The developer of a large central Indiana wind farm says the project's first phase is now complete, with 125 turbines being built.

The company had faced a Dec. 31 deadline to have the turbines built in order to qualify for federal tax credits. The Wildcat Wind Farm is planned to eventually reach into four Indiana counties.

The farm now has 101 turbines in operation, and the remaining 24 are expected to start up soon, said Andy Melka, project manager for E-on Climate & Renewables.

Melka told the Kokomo Tribune for a story Friday that the wind farm's maintenance and operations facility near the Tipton County town of Windfall also has been completed.

The current turbines are in eastern Tipton County and northern Madison County, in the area about 40 miles north of Indianapolis. Nearly 200 more turbines are planned in neighboring Howard and Grant counties in later phases.

"We still have the site plans to develop," Melka said of the future phases. "We still have land to secure in Howard County."

Depending on whether the federal tax credit for wind energy is extended and for how many years, work in Howard and Grant counties could begin next year.

Matt Tullis, a spokesman for the Chicago-based company, said company officials believe the tax credit had plenty of support in the U.S. Senate and that its fate will depend on U.S. House.

"Future phases will depend on the tax credits," Tullis said. "We would like to get started in 2013. A lot will depend on the language included in any legislation to extend the credits."

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