State and local leaders and landowners joined executives from NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE), and American Electric Power (AEP) to celebrate the commissioning of the Bluff Point Wind Energy Center, which has created hundreds of construction jobs as well as millions of dollars in economic benefits for the region.
"On behalf of Governor Holcomb, I am very pleased to help commission this exciting project that represents a $200 million investment in our state," said Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. "It has created good jobs for Hoosiers and an economic uplift for the region, as well as low-cost, clean energy, which is a product we can all be proud of."
The Bluff Point Wind Energy Center features 57 GE wind turbines designed to pivot to capture the prevailing wind and convert it to clean, renewable electricity. Together, they have a generating capacity of nearly 120 megawatts. Affiliates of NextEra Energy Resources, the world's largest generator of renewable energy, built and will own and operate the project. The energy serves customers of Appalachian Power, an affiliate of AEP.
"AEP and Appalachian Power are pleased to partner with NextEra Energy Resources on this beneficial project that helps modernize and diversify the power generation fleet and provides low-cost, clean energy to customers," said Marc Lewis, vice president of regulatory and external affairs for Indiana Michigan Power, an AEP company.
Appalachian Power serves 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. The company has been moving toward a more diversified energy portfolio that will include more wind-generated power, new solar, demand-side management and energy efficiency as well as existing hydropower, coal and natural gas plants.
"This is our company's first project in Indiana and we look forward to making more investments here," said John DiDonato, vice president of renewable development and origination for NextEra Energy Resources. "We are grateful for our partnership with AEP, and for the tremendous support this project has received from the governor's office and of course the people of Jay and Randolphcounties, who stand to benefit from it for years to come."
The Bluff Point Wind Energy Center is providing a significant economic boost for Jay and Randolphcounties, creating approximately 200 jobs during the construction phase this year, and five full-time jobs to support it once it became operational in October. The project is expected to provide more than $30 million in new tax revenue to the county governments over its first 30 years of operations, and nearly $21 million in payments to local landowners. From labor and materials, to housing, health care and construction - a wide variety of local businesses have benefitted from the influx of economic activity.
"We are very proud to host the Bluff Point Wind Energy Center right here in Jay County," said Jeanne Houchins, Jay County Council member. "This project has already created a great deal of enthusiasm and positive economic activity in our community. The extra tax revenue it generates will go a long way to help our county enhance our schools, roads and essential services."
NextEra Energy Resources | http://www.nexteraenergyresources.com
American Electric Power | http://www.aep.com