Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly

The LaGrange County Council on Tuesday preliminarily approved tax abatements for a wind farm northwest of Topeka proposed by Pioneer Wind Energy LLC.

Final approval can be sought once the company determines the precise scope of the project.

The phased tax abatements would be for a period of 10 years.
Steve Stroup, managing director of the Fort Wayne-based Pioneer Wind, said the company is looking at a 10- to 100-megawatt wind farm. He said that translates into five to 50 turbines and roughly 500 to 5,000 acres.

At the high end, he said, a 100-megawatt farm would be able to supply electricity to 30,000 houses.

Stroup said the company has a letter of intent from one utility interested in using the electricity and is speaking with two others about power purchase agreements.

The company, Stroup said, is also seeking land lease arrangements with property owners and turbine supply agreements with manufacturers. If all goes according to plan, he said, the wind farm could be up and running in one to two years.

Keith Gillenwater, director of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp., said he’s excited about the prospect of additional property tax revenue and perhaps job growth.

“The most exciting thing for me,” he said, “is that it gets our foot in the door on green energy.”