Pablo Vegas, of NiSource (left), Miguel Stillwell, of EDP Renewables, and Laura Beane, of Vestas, took part in a ceremonial ribbon cut Nov. 12 in Chalmers to mark the transfer of Indiana Crossroads wind farm from EDP to NIPSCO. Courtesy photo
Pablo Vegas, of NiSource (left), Miguel Stillwell, of EDP Renewables, and Laura Beane, of Vestas, took part in a ceremonial ribbon cut Nov. 12 in Chalmers to mark the transfer of Indiana Crossroads wind farm from EDP to NIPSCO. Courtesy photo
CHALMERS — The wind turbines that began sprouting up during the summer, mostly along the eastern side of the Indiana 43 corridor between Reynolds and Brookston, have been slowly turning its blades for about a month.

Known as Indiana Crossroads, it’s situated near the current Meadow Lake Wind Farm. It has about 80 wind turbines that will generate 302-megawatts of power for its new owner, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO).

Ownership of the wind farm was officially turned over to the power company Nov. 12 during a ceremony at the Meadow Lake Wind Farm headquarters in Chalmers.

EDP Renewables North America and NIPSCO signed a “build-and-transfer” agreement 25 months ago that made it happen.

The ceremony marked the completion of the project. The turbines, now turning slowly, will ramp up by the end of the year.

Miguel Stillwell, CEO of EDP Group and chairman of the executive board and CEO of EDP Renewables, said Indiana Crossroads, at 302 megawatts, is the largest single-phase wind farm the company has ever build in North America.

“And I can say globally, as well,” he said, adding that the wind farm will generate enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of 80,000 average Indiana homes.

Stillwell, who was making his first visit to Chalmers — he lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal — said White County wind farms have doled out more than $50 million, in the form of lease payments, to farmers during the past 10 years.

“So we truly appreciate the trust local farming families put in EDP to share a portion of their land,” he said.

David Diener, White County Commission president, said White County stands above anywhere else in Indiana when it comes to renewable energy.

“The county couldn’t be happier about the relationship that we have had over the last decade or more with EDP, and continue to grow the alternative energy sources they have allowed us to be involved in,” he said. “This would not be possible without all of the elected officials in White County working together.”

Diener added that, through 2020, White County has received $5.5 million in property tax and $13 million in economic development money solely from existing wind projects.

“These economic benefits to our community benefit every property owner within the county, whether they are particularly happy with wind turbines or not,” he said. “It’s a benefit for everyone. … We appreciate the involvement and relationship.”

State Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) said Indiana has had a large, untapped renewable energy market — but that’s changing.

“To make our state even more competitive in attracting jobs and retaining employers, we must continue to encourage the deployment of renewable energy resources,” she said. “Through this project and others, we will strengthen our state’s economic engine while providing reliable and affordable energy resources for Hoosiers consumers.

“It’s great to see this level of investment come to White County.”
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