INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana is among the top states that could boost wind power production as a result of upcoming rule changes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Indianapolis Star (https://indy.st/1IfiRxC ) reports the new rules would trim carbon emissions from coal and gas power plants, while raising demand for clean energies such as wind. Final rules are expected this summer.
The number of Indiana wind farms Indiana could increase by two or three times the current level. There’s a good chance the state could triple its capacity for wind power, said Sean Brady, Midwest policy manager for advocacy group Wind on the Wires.
Indiana has 1,031 wind turbines on six wind farms, with northern Indiana providing a flat landscape.
“Indiana has quite a large upside,” Brady said. “It has a great opportunity for wind development.”
But an increase in Indiana wind power depends on a few undecided factors. People in the public policy field aren’t in universal agreement on the usefulness of wind power with its dependence on the weather. Turbines are also expensive to install, and wind energy demand depends on Congress’ renewal of federal tax credits that expired at the end last year.
There are also remaining issues to be decided in the new Environmental Protection Agency rules, including whether to give utility companies credit for green energy if it’s bought outside its home state. Current proposed rules wouldn’t do that.
“So much is up in the air,” said Joan Soller, director of resource planning at Indianapolis Power & Light Co.
As of 2014, Indiana produced 3 percent of U.S. wind energy, enough to power 321,000 homes. About 1,500 people work in the state’s wind energy industry, with investments of $3.7 billion in wind farms. Proposed new wind farms include one in Benton County and another in Wayne and Henry counties.
Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com
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