Last week, I had the pleasure of heading north for a few hours to White County. It is located just north of Lafayette and in what I would call the flatest area of Indiana. Until recently, I hadn’t been in this area of Indiana for literally years and had only heard about the wind farm that was being constructed. A recent weekend trip to Chicago exposed them to my wife and I, so we made a date to go back with cameras in hand, and check the area out.
We departed I-65 and ended up driving around country roads for a couple of hours. Some of the roads were paved but by and large they were gravel surfaced, and used primarily to move farm equipment, which was a lot of what we saw going on as harvest season is in full swing.
Upon further investigation, the area we were visiting, is part of Horizon Energy’s Meadow Lake Wind Farm. There are 121 Vestas V82 1.65 MW “turbines”Â Â as they are called with an installed total capacity of 200MW; enough energy to power 60,000 homes as the website claims. Also found on the website was this, “The electricity generated by the wind farm is sold into the regional wholesale market. The associated energy credits are used by businesses and organizations to comply with state renewable energy mandates or to voluntarily reduce the environmental impact of their operations.”
Future projects aim to add more turbines with the final count reaching 600. That is years off and for now, these pieces churn away. The obvious sustainable benefit to this is that they do not burn fossil fuels to generate energy. Another byproduct is the additional income that is provided to property owners for hosting a turbine on their property, up to $5000. White County itself earns a few jobs in the process. The Indianapolis Star hosted a good write up from a local perspective on their website some time ago that contains a few details.
As an urbanist bent on seeing more sustainable options, I really enjoyed the two hours that we spent travelling around and taking photographs. And while energy from sources such as these are still not mainstream and cost a little more than buying coal generated sources, it represents a step in the right direction. My wife intends to use her photos as part of a show she is participating in on Mass Ave’s Fall Gallery Walk early next month. So if you see them, at least you know a little bit more about them today.