IPL planning wind energy farm

A new current is blowing through Indiana today when it comes to wind energy.

Indianapolis Power & Light said it has partnered with a French energy company to build a 100 megawatt wind farm near Fowler. The Benton County town is near Lafayette.

Meanwhile, workers are erecting a 150-foot-tall wind turbine in Marion County to power calendar publisher The Time Factory.

IPL’s “Hoosier Wind Project” will consist of 67 turbines, which are capable of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 230,000 tons a year, said IPL President Ann Murtlow. “That’s the equivalent of removing 46,000 cars from the highway,” she said.

IPL plans to buy electricity for 20 years from enXco, an arm of French energy company Energies Nouvelles Co.

The wind farm would begin operations next year, pending approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and a federal renewable energy tax credit IPL is seeking.

Financial details of the project were not immediately available. It’s also not clear how the wind power purchase would affect ratepayers.

IPL has 468,000 central Indiana customers.

The state’s largest utility, Duke Energy, also has a wind project in Benton County.

Marion County has its own wind project. Today, contractors are erecting a tower and wind turbine at The Time Factory, 6355 Morenci Trail, on the city’s northwest side.

Owner Jim Purcell said he hopes the turbine will be able to meet at least 80 percent of the electrical needs of the 22,000-square-foot calendar publishing plant.

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