Economic Analysis of Wind Power: Northern Indiana

Andrew Conces

Wind EnergySource:

Recent technological improvements to wind power systems have made wind power a sustainable and economically viable energy solution for regions like Northern Indiana that were previously deemed unsuitable for using wind to generate electricity on a utility-scale.  New advanced wind turbines with higher towers (80 meters) and larger blades are capable of capturing more energy consistently than traditional 50-meter turbines, even with lower wind speeds.  With NIPSCO’s announcement to retire coal-fired electricity generation over the next decade, there is a new demand for cost-efficient, sustainable energy alternatives.  A comparison of the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of wind versus coal and other conventional energy technologies reveals that wind is already cost-competitive with the conventional methods.  Research shows that in Northern Indiana, wind energy could cost at least 25% less than continuing to operate existing coal plants.  In addition to affordability, wind energy development has the potential to create thousands of jobs, generate hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity within Indiana, and provide a consistent revenue stream to farmers and ranchers who lease their land.