Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Local News

November 29, 2012

E-on rushing toward deadline

Federal tax credits are key to future development

WINDFALL — Crews from White Construction are working nights in an effort to beat a Dec. 31 deadline to have the first 125 wind turbines operational as part of the Wildcat Wind Farm project.

E-on Climate & Renewables are planning on having 69 turbines in eastern Tipton County and 56 in northern Madison County operational by the end of the year, when current federal tax credits for wind energy expire.

Congress has to take action by the end of the year to extend the credits. Without the extension wind energy development in America could grind to a halt. The administration of President Barack Obama supports the extension of the tax credits.

The tax credit provides 2.2-cents for each kilowatt hour produced by a wind farm.

“We’re optimistic about an extension,” Matt Tullis, spokesman for E-on said. “There is bipartisan support in Congress.”

Tullis said the company is hoping the extension will be approved by the end of 2012, noting that 28 governors of states where wind farms are being developed voiced support for the extension.

Governors recognize the investments in their states and the importance of wind energy, he said.

One of the options being considered by Congress is a five-year extension with a phase-out.

Tullis said any longer extension would probably come later, sometime in 2013.

“We would have to see how the five-year phase out is structured,” he said. “A longer extension will be beneficial. It would have an impact.”

E-on is investing approximately $400 million as part of the first phase of the Wildcat Wind Farm project.

Plans are for three additional phases in Tipton, Grant and Howard counties. Phase Two will include 40 to 60 wind turbines, with 80 percent located in Grant County and the remainder in Howard County, southeast of Greentown.

Phase Three would have 65 percent of the turbines in Howard County with the remaining turbines in Grant County. The final phase would be located in Tipton County exclusively.

“We want to start Phase Two next year,” Tullis said. “Any delay in the tax credits could delay it to 2014 instead of 2013.”

Andy Melka, project manager for the Wildcat Wind Farm said 75 of the 125 turbines were completed last week.

He said White Construction crews are only working at night because the winds are calmer. All the construction crews are working from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Along Ind. 213 in eastern Tipton County portions of the landscape are illuminated as the crews erect the approximately 400 foot towers for the wind turbines.

Melka said approximately 20 of the turbines are already online, providing electrical energy to the power grid.

“We’re still on schedule to have all the turbines up and operating by Jan. 1,” Melka said.

He said the maintenance and control center building near Windfall will be completed by the end of the year.

“Phase Two, even with the tax credits is not certain,” Melka said. “It is more likely to take place if the tax credits remain.”

While E-on is racing to get the first phase of the Wildcat Wind Farm completed, a second company is seeking a tax abatement in Tipton County for a wind farm in Prairie Township, along the Howard County line.

Juwi Wind Energy is proposing to construct up to 95 wind turbines in the township, with construction work expected to start in 2014.

The Tipton County Council will have a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday to conduct a public hearing on the company’s request for a tax abatement.

The company is expected to invest between $100 million and $300 million on the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm.

Matt Heck with Juwi said the company has leases signed with 50 local property owners which contain 150 parcels.

Heck said if the federal tax credits are extended for one year, the company would try to move forward with construction in 2013.

Heck said there is a lot of work taking place with Congress to extend the federal tax credits. He also said a five-year phase out is being considered as an option.

“We are moving forward aggressively,” he said of the wind farm plans in Tipton County.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Mac talent show 01 lf Maconaquah students, alumni take the stage for 50th annual variety show

    BUNKER HILL - When students from Bunker Hill and Clay Township schools suddenly found themselves walking the same halls in the new Maconaquah High School, they needed something to rally around as they formed their new school identity. That's when Pow

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS - KT041714 - Bunker Hill child neglect arrests - CLG - pic1 Miami Co. couple face charges of neglect after children found malnourished BUNKER HILL - Two Bunker Hill children have been placed in foster care after officials discovered they were living in a dilapidated house with no heat or running water and were exposed to dangerous amounts of lead. In relation to the case, police Mon

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Maconaquah School Corp. to add new preschool program PERU -- In an effort to meet the needs of Miami County's young children, Maconaquah School Corp. is set to expand its preschool programs next school year. The school district is starting a "Little Braves Academy" preschool program, in addition to its

    April 17, 2014

  • $3.27M grant will boost technical training at Ivy Tech Kokomo Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region just received a $3.27 million boost from the federal government to expand programs dedicated to preparing high school students for careers in industrial technology. Ivy Tech's Integrated Technology Education P

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS KT 041714 pic traveling diplomat Kokomo senior Craig Simon to be traveling diplomat The chance to travel the globe, earn college credits and get paid sounds too good to be true, but it's about to be reality for Kokomo High School senior Craig Simon. The Kokomo School Corp. board of education approved a recommendation Monday to make

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea deal filed in Kokomo murder-for-hire plot A Kokomo woman accused of plotting to kill her daughter's boyfriend pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Tuesday as part of a proposed plea deal. Police arrested Christy Shaffer, 41, in September on a conspiracy to commit murder charge after she alleged

    April 17, 2014

  • Tabitha Mitkus Heroin found in hotel room bust Kokomo police seized heroin, pills, cocaine and stolen property in an early morning, motel room bust. Tabitha B. Mitkus, 24, 2000 block of Pontiac Court, was arrested at Garden Inn, 4021 S. Lafountain St., after hotel staff reported suspicious activi

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • North split restrictions on Monday The Indiana Department of Transportation will restrict traffic at the single-lane ramp that connects U.S. 31 to southbound Ind. 931 on the north side of Kokomo — weather permitting — on Monday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remedial repairs along the 200-

    April 16, 2014

  • BK rebuild 04 Peru restaurant B-K West rebuilding after tornado

    PERU -- B-K West is more than just a drive-in restaurant to its owner, J.D. Hann. It's a piece of his childhood, a historic Peru landmark, and it's his baby. "I grew up with this place," the 57-year-old Peru native said. "We used to walk the tracks o

    April 16, 2014 7 Photos

  • Congresswoman Susan Brooks backs manufacturing training efforts Congresswoman Susan Brooks' own personal manufacturing experience may have been limited to three months in a Kendallville caramel factory as a college student, but in her congressional roles, she's having an impact on the skills debate. In Kokomo Tue

    April 16, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.