WAYNETOWN — A northern Indiana power company will purchase electricity generated by Apex Clean Energy’s Roaming Bison Wind farm, which is expected to begin spinning by late 2020, the companies announced Friday.
Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Company signed a 300-megawatt purchase agreement with Apex for the 107-turbine farm being developed near Waynetown.
The 20-year agreement will allow NIPSCO to power up to 80,000 U.S. homes as the company replaces its coal-fired power plants with wind, solar and battery powered technology.
“Making the transition to renewable energy is critical to our long-term plan to move toward a more affordable and sustainable energy future,” NIPSCO president Violet Sistovaris said in a statement.
NIPSCO was taking advantage of “strong, local wind resources” and “low generation costs” to purchase the electricity, Apex president and CEO Mark Goodwin said in a statement.
“At the same time, the vital community support shown by the residents of Montgomery County will yield tremendous returns in terms of economic benefits — both to the county and to the landowners involved in the project,” Goodwin said.
The project is one of two wind farms currently in the works for Montgomery County.
A subsidiary of Chicago-based Akuo Energy USA is building a 104-turbine farm east of U.S. 231 in Madison and Sugar Creek Townships. More than 80 landowners are participating, with land secured for a second phase, according to the company's website.
Critics say the farms will bring down property values, exacerbate health problems and harm the environment. Last year, Alamo and Darlington passed ordinances restricting wind turbines in a four-mile radius. Citizen group No Wind Farm Montgomery County is speaking out against a bill sponsored by State Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville, to stop other cities and towns from taking similar moves.