BP, Dominion announce full operation of largest wind farm in Midwest
BP Wind Energy and Dominion announced today full commercial operation of phase one of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County, Indiana. The first 400 megawatts of the project will generate enough carbon-free electricity to power about 120,000 homes.
Of the 400 megawatt facility, BP and Dominion are partners on approximately 300 megawatts. The two companies could expand the facility to a total of 750 megawatts in the future.
Construction of phase one of the wind farm 90 miles northwest of Indianapolis began in early 2008. Built by RMT, Inc., phase one utilizes 182 Vestas 1.65-megawatt turbines with a hub height of 262 feet and a rotor diameter of 269 feet, and 40 Clipper 2.5-megawatt turbines with a hub height of approximately 262 feet and a rotor diameter of 314 feet.
A total of 850 workers were employed at the peak of construction. A full-time staff of 36 is employed to monitor and maintain the first phase of the facility. BP Wind Energy is operator.
“The commercial operation of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm marks an important step for BP in helping Indiana increase its role as a provider of energy to support growing state and national demands,” said John Graham, president, BP Wind Energy. “This wind farm will deliver over 1 billion kilowatt hours of clean, renewable electricity every year and brings new revenue streams to rural communities without impact on traditional farming and grazing practices. The cooperation of the landowners, county officials, contractors and sub-contractors has been the key to the success of this project.”
“We are pleased to be providing clean electricity to the power grid,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “To ensure reliability and price stability, the U.S. will need to utilize diverse fuel sources in the generation of electricity, and these are concrete steps in that direction. Wind is and will continue to be an important part of the mix.”
The power from phase one of the project has been sold under three long-term contracts, one contract with Dominion Energy Marketing Inc. for 200 megawatts and two contracts each for 100 megawatts with Indiana Michigan Power and Appalachian Power, both subsidiaries of American Electric Power.
In addition to development of phase one of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm, BP and Dominion announced in April 2008 that they had entered into an agreement to jointly own, operate and develop wind energy projects in Virginia. In January 2009 the companies announced they were evaluating two wind energy projects in Tazewell and Wise counties in Southwest Virginia. Both projects are in an early stage of development and will be subject to all applicable local, state and federal permits and approvals.
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