updated: 4/15/2009 1:06:44 PM
The first phase of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County is fully operational. BP Wind Energy and Virginia-based Dominion (NYSE: D) say the first 400 megawatts of the project will generate enough carbon-free electricity to power approximately 120,000 average homes. The two companies are partners on approximately 300 megawatts being produced at what they call the largest wind farm in the Midwest.
Source: Inside INdiana Business
RICHMOND, Va., April 15 -- Dominion (NYSE: D) and BP Wind Energy announced today full commercial operation of Phase I of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County, Ind. The first 400 megawatts of the project will generate enough carbon-free electricity to power approximately 120,000 average 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 I of the wind farm, which is 90 miles northwest of Indianapolis, began in the first quarter of 2008. Built by RMT, Inc., Phase I utilizes 222 wind turbines: 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.
John Graham, president, BP Wind Energy, said:
"The commercial operation of the Fowler Ridge I 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. 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."
Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said:
"We are pleased to be providing clean electricity to the power grid. 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 I 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 (NYSE: AEP).
In addition to the development of the Fowler Ridge I 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.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,000 megawatts of generation, 1.2 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas and oil reserves, 14,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,000 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage facility with 975 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 12 states.
Dominion has more than 750 megawatts of wind energy in operation or in various stages of development in Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana and Illinois. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at http://www.dom.com.
About BP Wind Energy/BP America:
BP Wind Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of BP, one of the world's leading energy companies. BP Wind Energy is one of the leading wind developers in the U.S. with a wind portfolio that includes the opportunity to develop almost 100 projects with a potential total generating capacity of 20,000 megawatts (MW). BP Wind Energy has over 1,000 MW in commercial operation and more than 1,000 MW in an advanced stage of development.
BP America is the largest producer of oil and gas in the United States and one of the nation's largest energy investors. For more information, visit the company's Web sites at http://www.bpalternativenergy.com and http://www.bp.com/us.