According to CleanJobsMidwest.com, White County has 366 total clean energy jobs, with 54 of those in renewable energy and 230 in energy efficiency. This wind turbine is located on Meadow Lake Wind Farm near Chalmers and Brookston. Staff photo by Michael Johnson
MONTICELLO — Three new wind farm projects being planned for Indiana by the end of 2020 will help NIPSCO become coal-free toward the end of the next decade, the company announced Friday.
One of those farms is set for White County.
NIPSCO and several partner companies are planning almost 300 more turbines and nearly 800 megawatts of electricity across White, Montgomery, Benton and Warren counties. Officials said they will be operational by the end of next year.
Twenty-five turbines are planned for what’s being called “Rosewater,” a 102-megawatt wind project being developed and built by EDP Renewables North America LLC.
No exact location was given for Rosewood and attempts to contact the company were unsuccessful, but it’s presumed to be near EDP Renewables' current Meadow Lake Wind Farm west of the Chalmers and Brookston areas along Interstate 65.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to add more home-grown renewable energy in Indiana,” NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris stated Friday in the company's press release to the HJ. “In addition to the economic benefits that projects like these add, the transition we’re making in our electric generation equates to an estimated $4 billion in cost-savings for customers over the long-term.”
It’s all part of NIPSCO’S “Your Energy, Your Future” plan, which calls for the retirement of its coal-fired facility — the Schahfer station near Wheatfield in Jasper County — by the end of 2023, and a facility near Michigan City, which will close by the end of 2028.
Jasper County government officials are struggling with a local group opposed to the use of wind turbines there, while at the same time trying to plan for the loss of the Schahfer facility.
The opposition group, Save Jasper County (formerly known as "Pulaski and Jasper County, IN Property Rights”) is protesting proposed setback distances for turbines there. The protests have slowed processes and impacted potential turbine builds there, opening opportunities in White County and other areas.
Company officials, like many other electric producers across the nation, developed the plan because of the long-term cost of coal, maintaining coal-fired facilities, and the advances in wind, solar and battery storage technology.