Fact Sheet

E.ON Clinton County Wind Farm Fact Sheet

ABOUT E.ON:

  • One of the nation’s largest renewable energy companies, E.ON has built and operates 23 wind farms across the U.S., including the Wildcat Wind Farm in Indiana, keeping nearly 2,300 turbines spinning to generate low-cost, homegrown electricity.
  • With its North American headquarters in Chicago, E.ON has invested over
    $7 billion in communities across the U.S. and more than $1 billion throughout the Midwest.
  • An owner-operator for nearly all of its projects, E.ON has developed a reputation for being a committed, engaged, and honest community partner.

 

E.ON’S WILDCAT PROJECT:

Location:           Tipton & Madison Counties
Year built:         2012 (Phase 1)
Size:                   200 MW
Turbines:           112 GE 1.6 megawatt

In just six and a half years, from 2012 until summer of 2019, the Wildcat project has provided Tipton county more than $3.13 million in tax revenue. The county will receive more than $565k in just 2019.

Economic impact (as provided by Tipton County Assessor Gregg Townsend):    

  • Tipton County has received more than $3.1 million from the windfarm since 2012. It will receive $567,369 just in 2019.
  • The wind farm has a long-term, stabilizing influence on revenues that support the county budget.
  • Property taxes are lower for EVERY property owner.
  • E.ON upgraded over 40 miles of roads at no cost to the county, which won’t need much maintenance or repair for many years – saving the county even more expense.
  • Farmers can use the access roads to stage their equipment for planting and harvesting; a much safer and cleaner alternative to parking along the road.
  • Over 500 landowners with turbines and leases are receiving taxable, steady income for 30 years.

 

Proposed CLINTON COUNTY Project:

Timing is crucial:

  • E.ON began working with the local community in 2013 to explore bringing the benefits of a wind project to the area, and found strong support from local landowners. In the years since, we have continued signing up additional landowners, working with the community, and refining the project. Along with our landowners, we remain committed to making a project in Clinton County a reality.
  • To deliver a finished project by December, 2021, permitting must take place soon. That means the County Commission must lift the temporary moratorium on wind farm plan submissions it put in place in February 2017. The legislation the Commission pointed to in keeping the moratorium in place has all failed and more than two years have now passed. It’s time for the County Commission to act.

Timeline:

  • December 2013: E.ON executes first lease in Clinton County.
  • May 2016: A small but organized and vocal opposition group mobilizes in Clinton Co. to protest wind development.
  • June 2016: Area Plan Commission (APC) agrees to review of the Clinton County Wind Energy Ordinance.
  • November 2016: The APC proposes more restrictive language to the ordinance, including a Property Value Guarantee.
  • December 2016: The County Commission approves the restrictive ordinance, despite leaving blank several important provisions.
  • January 2017: New County Commissioners take office. The next month, the board issues a statement declaring a temporary moratorium on wind farm plan submissions pending further direction from the Indiana State Legislature on HB 1597.
  • April 2017: HB 1597 does not pass the Indiana State Legislature; County Commission keeps moratorium in place.
  • April 2018: E.ON acquires the Tradewind energy project located in the Townships of Owen and Warren, Clinton Co., IN (10,000 acres / 90 leases).
  • June 2018: County Commissioners request that County Council determine potential economic impact of a wind farm project in Clinton Co.
  • July 2018: County Council approves undertaking a comprehensive budget study for the County to analyze the fiscal state of the County and analyze impacts on future revenues from a wind farm.
  • April 2019: Comprehensive budget study approved by the County Council finally begins.
  • June 2019: Comprehensive budget study finds significant budget shortfalls in the County General Fund in coming years. Study also finds that a wind farm would reverse the budget shortfall and create a multi-million-dollar surplus, preventing the County Commissioners from having to raise taxes on Clinton County residents or cut services.
  • Q4 2019: E.ON hopes to apply for local permits.

Land use:

  • The development site is primarily agricultural, consisting of corn and soybeans with some pasture / livestock.
  • The project site encompasses 39,330 leased acres across seven townships in the eastern half of Clinton County and includes parts of Forest, Johnson, Kirklin, Michigan, Owen, Sugar Creek and Warren Townships.
  • E.ON has 290 lease agreements with 500+ signees / leaseholders and project supporters.

Power:

  • 145 Megawatts of clean, inexpensive, homegrown energy from 35 to 52 turbines – enough to power around 50,000 Indiana homes every year. Proposed completion in 2021 with an operational life of 25-30 years.

Estimated economic boost for the community (#s based on size of project):

  • $250 million total investment in Clinton County.
  • More than $30 million in tax revenue for Clinton County over 30 years to support local first responders, schools, and other essential services.
  • More than $25 million paid to mostly local labor and construction companies.
  • More than $25 million in stable lease payments to Clinton County family farms / landowners over 30 years, after full build-out. (Turbines use just 1% of a farmer’s land.)
  • 200+ temporary construction jobs; 10 long-term, good-paying local jobs; and a commitment to hire locally.
  • Miles of local road upgrades at no cost to taxpayers.

 

CONCERNS:

  • Sound: The county ordinance stipulates a setback distance of 1,520 from occupied dwelling, in part for sound compliance purposes. A comprehensive sound analysis will be performed to ensure compliance with the county’s strict sound requirements.
  • Shadow flicker: We carefully design our projects to minimize the incidence of shadow flicker for surrounding houses. We make sure that flicker only happens for a few minutes a few days of out of the year when the sun is at just the right angle.
  • Property values: There is no peer-reviewed evidence that wind turbines lower property values in other communities where wind farms exist. In fact, many communities actually see property values around wind farms go up – which makes sense when you think about the additional millions of dollars in tax revenue those communities have as a result of the wind farm.

 

KEY E.ON DISTINCTIONS:

  • Owner-operators – Unlike some developers, E.ON typically stays deeply involved with each project from the start and for years to come. It identifies a site, works with the community to explain the benefits and address concerns, builds the project, and develops a presence to operate the project for its life (25+ years). E.ON works hard to become part of the communities that host its projects.
  • Good stewards of the land – E.ON commits to restoring the land as it was prior to construction. In fact, E.ON was the first wind-energy company to sign an Agricultural Impact Mitigation Agreement (AIMA) in neighboring Illinois. (https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Resources/AIMA/Pages/default.aspx).
  • Large, stable company – E.ON has a strong track record and the resources & capital to get projects built.
    • E.ON ranks #5 for Top 10 Developers of New U.S. Wind Capacity Installed 2017**
    • E.ON ranks #5 in the U.S. relative to Total Wind Power Capacity Ownership by Market Share**
    • In 2017, E.ON ranked #3 in the U.S. relative to Total Installed Wind Power Capacity Ownership by Market Share**
    • E.ON built & operates the 4th-largest wind farm project in the U.S., Roscoe Wind Farm in Texas: 782MW & 627 turbines
      (From American Wind Energy Association’s 2017 report.)
    • AWEA’s 2018 year-end market report. Executive summary: https://www.awea.org/Awea/media/Resources/Publications%20and%20Reports/Market%20Reports/AWEA_AMR2018_ExecutiveSummary.pdf

 

CONTACTS:

“If E.ON were to come here today and say they’d like to put another wind turbine on my farm, I would say go for it. They’ve been very easy to work with.”

Greg Merida – Tipton County, Indiana