WOLCOTT — The sixth phase of the wind farms in southwest White County is complete and had its ribbon cutting Tuesday, with notable people attending the event at Tri-County Junior-Senior High School.
“The Meadow Lake VI Wind Farm is a 200-megawatt project located in northwestern Indiana in Benton County,” according to a press release from the company that constructed the turbines, EDP Renewables North America LLC.
The turbines are in view from the school, just over the Benton-White county line.
The wind farm became operational at the end of 2018 and created about 140 jobs and some permanent jobs to operate the farm, the press release states.
It cost about $320 million to create, and landowners and local governments are receiving millions in lease and tax payments, according to EDP.
Meadow Lake VI Wind Farm will produce enough electricity each year to power more than 55,000 average Indiana homes.
EDP’s press release also states that the construction and operations “stimulated the local economy through money spent at neighboring businesses.”
However, they didn’t provide a dollar amount on that.
EDP was able to construct Meadow Lake VI because of long-term power purchase agreements with Cummins Inc., Nestlé and Wabash Valley Power Alliance.
Cummins is a global technology corporation with products ranging from diesel and natural gas engines to hybrid and electric platforms, as well as related technologies, including transmissions, battery systems and fuel.
Wabash Valley Power Alliance is a not-for-profit electric cooperative based in Indianapolis and providing wholesale electricity to 23 retail electric distribution cooperatives in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, the press release states.
For the ribbon cutting, state Sen. Brian Buchanan (R, District 7), state Rep. Sharon Negele (R, District 13) Tri-County School Corporation Superintendent Patrick Culp and Tri-County School Board President Don Pampel joined representatives from EDP, Cummins, Nestlé and Wabash Valley Power.
“This partnership is a great opportunity for our community, and I’m grateful to the local officials, corporations, and other parties involved for taking the initiative and making this investment,” Buchanan said. “I look forward to seeing the valuable resource Meadow Lake VI Wind Farm will be for our area and state.”
“Using wind energy to power homes and businesses with clean and renewable energy is becoming more common and creates opportunities for significant economic growth in rural communities like ours,” Negele said.
“It takes a great deal of collaboration to help a project like the Meadow Lake VI Wind Farm get up and running, and I commend Cummins, Nestle, and Wabash Valley Power Alliance for their commitment to purchase power and invest in our community,” she said.
The school representatives spoke on the positive impact the turbines are having on the students and district.
The companies involved also presented checks of $10,000 in donations to the Remington Volunteer Fire Department, Benton Community Foundation and Benton Community Food and Service Co-op
There was also a bus tour of the wind farm.
EDP Renewables North America is headquartered in Houston and its subsidiaries develop, construct, own, and operate wind farms and solar parks throughout North America with 48 wind farms, five solar parks, and 13 regional and development offices.
It is owned by EDP Renováveis, S.A. in Europe, a global leader in the renewable energy sector and the world’s fourth-largest wind energy producer.