WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - If you are driving through White County, you may have noticed anew set of wind turbines spinning in the air. Phase I of theMeadow Lake Wind Farm is now complete, which can power up to 60,000Indiana Homes.
"Phase I just completed construction and is in operation as ofthis week. It's a 200 megawatt project, which is one ofpotentially 1,000 total megawatts," said Peter Parks.
Horizon Wind Energy developed Meadow Lake. The first phaseconsists of 121 turbines. But, Project Manager Peter Parksaid this is just the beginning of a much bigger wind farm.
"Phase II is 99 megawatts and is in construction rightnow. Phases III, IV, and V are each about 100 megawatts aswell. That's all in White County and could be operational byearly to mid next year," said Parks.
Parks said Horizon Wind Energy is also looking at projects inBenton, Jasper, and Newton County. He said that would be thenext step in the build out planned. He said the Meadow LakeWind Farm will yield many environmental benefits.
"Close to a million tons of C02 will be taken out, it's theequivalent of taking out 104,000 cars off of the road. It'spart of the puzzle for energy independence and to be able to havedomestic production. It's the cheapest clean power that'savailable right now," said Park.
Park said not only are the wind farms beneficial to theenvironment, they also have helped create hundreds of local jobs.
"The peak construction period there was about 450 jobs, and wehave 20 to 24 full time employees that will be running the firstphase of Meadow Lake Wind Farm. Two thirds of all the jobsare locally created," said Park.
With construction of more phases underway, more jobs could sooncome to the area. Park said Horizon Wind Energy has not yetcontracted a power purchase agreement with a utility company, buthopes to as soon as possible.
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