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Indiana stands to benefit from future wind development June 2, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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By Zach Ammerman | Indiana Daily Student (IDS)
POSTED AT 05:38 PM ON Jun. 1, 2011

Indiana ranks among the states with the highest potential wind power capacity, and any future development of wind energy could boost the state economy, according to an article from the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC).

U.S. wind energy capacity has grown at an average rate of 22 percent per year during the past five years, according to the article. Much of that growth has come from the Midwest. Until 2008, Indiana had made few developments in wind energy; but after 2008, Indiana jumped to fourth in the Midwest in the amount of energy generated by
wind power.

However, Indiana still has a long way to go to catch up with other states..

Indiana has an installed wind capacity of approximately 1 gigawatt, while Texas, the state with the highest installed capacity, is at about 9.5 gigawatts.

Indiana has a potential capacity of more than 400 gigawatts — more than enough to provide all of the electricity in the state — according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which compiles data about renewable energy. 

One of the biggest benefits of developing wind power in Indiana is its potential economic impact on the state.

While most wind turbines are currently owned and manufactured in Europe (all of the four windmill farms in Indiana are owned by European firms), Indiana’s manufacturing sector will likely benefit from any increase in wind energy production.

There are several small firms located in Indiana that manufacture parts used in wind turbines, including Vela Gear Systems located in Carmel, Ind.

Vela Gear Systems, however, is projecting rapid expansion in the next three years, according to the  article from the IBRC.

Because of Indiana’s huge untapped wind energy potential and rising concerns about the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions, many small firms like Vela Gera Systems could also see rapid growth in the near future.

A new project for a wind farm in northwestern-central Indiana will create about 100 to 150 construction jobs and a smaller number of permanent positions after the project is completed.

E.ON Climate and Renewables, a North American subsidiary of a European based company, is financing the project, which will have an overall investment of $175 to $200 million, said Matt Tulis, Communications Manager for the company.

The project will have approximately 100 turbines that will create enough energy to power 60,000 homes, Tulis said.

He also said the company does not yet know where most of the manufacturing for the farm will take place; but if any Indiana firms get even part of the job, it will have a positive impact on Indiana’s economy.

ndiana could see an uptick in new long-term jobs linked to the wind industry, said Ryan Krause, an economic research assistant for the Indiana Business Research Center.

Most of these long-term jobs would involve manufacturing the various parts that go into turbines, like gears, which many companies in Indiana “are already very adept at,” Krause said.

But the bigger turbine parts, like the blades and the tower, are unlikely to come from Indiana in the near future, Krause said. Most of these parts are imported by companies overseas that specialize in manufacturing them.

Because the cost is so high to import such massive components, there is a possibility that if Indiana continues its trend of constructing new wind farms these parts might eventually be manufactured in Indiana, Krause suggested.

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Comments»

1. Jared French - June 2, 2011

Indiana stands to benefit from future wind development with its new project for a wind farm that will create about 100 to 150 construction jobs. It’s great to have wind power turbine construction dealing with renewable energy. It’s nice to help in been eco-friendly and going green even when your own economic situation is dire. Given today’s tight economy, it is a relief to see any type of construction projects actually happening. Especially, since it seems as if the Construction Jobs in Indiana are few and far between. I was so happy when I found Dodge Projects because they actually offer detailed leads for work, by state or by niche. They have really made the job search much easier for me and have really set me on the right path. They are definitely worth


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