I&M will add 200 megawatts (MW) of wind power to its generation portfolio under the 20-year power purchase agreement.
Headwaters Wind Farm will be built in Randolph County, about 85 miles south of Fort Wayne and 85 miles east of Indianapolis. The wind farm’s turbines will be connected to the AEP transmission system to deliver power to I&M customers in both Michigan and Indiana. Construction on Headwaters Wind Farm is slated to begin before year’s end and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2014.
“Our agreement with EDPR is an important step in our continuing efforts to diversify our generation portfolio, which includes wind, hydro, nuclear and coal,” said Paul Chodak III, President and COO for Indiana Michigan Power.
The wind power contract resulted from a request for proposals that I&M issued in February to fulfill its commitment under a consent order negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, several northeastern states, and various environmental groups to add 200 megawatts of new wind energy. The company solicited only wind projects in late stage development and was very pleased with the quality of the bids, as well as the pricing offered.
“In addition to providing renewable energy for all I&M customers, it will bring jobs and provide long-term economic benefits to communities in our service territory,” Chodak said.
EDPR expects to create the equivalent of more than 150 full-time jobs throughout the construction phase and more than 20 permanent jobs once the project is completed in 2014.
EDPR owns and operates 29 wind farms throughout the United States, including the Meadow Lake Wind Farm in White County, Indiana.
“We are excited to partner with Indiana Michigan Power to deliver clean and cost-effective homegrown Indiana electricity to power more than 55,000 homes annually,” said Gabriel Alonso, the CEO of EDPR.
The addition of Headwaters Wind Farm will bring I&M’s total wind power portfolio to 450 megawatts. I&M has power purchase agreements for a total of 150 MW from the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County in Indiana and 100 MW from the Wildcat-1 Wind Farm in Madison, Grant, Howard and Tipton counties in Indiana.
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,500 employees serve more than 582,000 customers. It operates 3,595 MW of coal-fired generation in Indiana, 2,110 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan and 22 MW of hydro generation in both states. The company also provides its customers 250 MW of purchased wind generation.
I&M is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.