Indiana Wind Energy Facts: Toward a Greener Energy Source
Article by Garrett Green
Indiana Wind Energy Facts: Toward a Greener Energy Source – Society – Environment
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Despite lagging behind other Midwestern states in having a renewable energy standard, the state of Indiana has a wind power development that surpasses those of its neighboring states. Nearby Ohio and Michigan do not have wind power facilities quite as advanced as Indiana’s. Indiana wind energy facts show that wind power in the state started primarily with farm-based water-pumping windmills. It was only in 2008 when the state’s first utility-scale wind power facility was put up in Goodland. Those located in Fowler Ridge, Meadow Lake, and Hoosier followed soon after Goodland was up and running. These Indiana wind energy facts have, in fact, catapulted the state into the tenth spot in the ranking of American states in terms of wind power capacity. Some 1238 MW of wind power is generated by Indiana’s wind farms, a capacity that is expected to be boosted with the completion of other wind power projects currently underway. The existing wind farms in the state powers the northwestern part of Indiana, covering the counties of Benton, White, and Jasper. Another interesting tidbit from the list of Indiana wind energy facts is that every 1000 MW of wind power capacity set up in the state would result in annual savings of 1,684 million gallons of water. The United States Department of Energy (USDOE) also estimates the same amount of wind power capacity to reduce the state’s carbon dioxide emissions by 3.1 million tons. It is worthy of note that in 2007, prior to the installation of the utility-scale wind power facilities in the state, Indiana’s carbon dioxide emissions were measured at a staggering 230 million tons. Indiana wind energy facts also show that there are locations other than the existing wind farms where single unit turbines have been installed as a means to determine the potential for future wind energy development. These single unit turbines are installed in areas where wind speeds are measured at about 7 meters per second. These observed wind speeds are almost double the 4 meters per second condition set by the USDOE for the installation of single unit turbines.Aside from these Indiana wind energy facts, homeowners in the state could also look at the possibility of installing smaller wind energy systems as home-based renewable energy sources. These energy systems provide a non-polluting option that effectively reduces electricity bills by 50% to 90%. Such installations would also be able to provide homeowners with uninterrupted power supply even during power outages in the electric power grid. These small wind energy systems may be used as a stand-alone facility or in tandem with a connection to an electric power grid. Grid-connected systems allow homeowners to tap into the utility-supplied electricity in the event that the wind turbines do not generate enough energy for their household’s consumption. Stand-alone wind energy systems are best for eco-housing communities being put up in areas where utility lines are not as accessible and connection costs are expensive. The USDOE has set specific conditions that have to be met in order to set up either grid-connected or stand-alone wind energy systems. These conditions have to do with the property’s location, existing coding regulations, and availability of utility grid services among others.
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