The Fowler Ridge wind farm (FRWF) located in Benton County, Indiana, US, has a total capacity of 750MW. It is one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world.
Built in four phases, it comprises the Fowler Ridge I (phase one), Fowler Ridge II (phase two), Fowler Ridge III (phase three) and Fowler Ridge IV (phase four) wind farms.
The Fowler Ridge I and III wind farms are operated by bp Wind Energy (bpWE). The Fowler Ridge I wind farm was earlier jointly owned by bpWE (50%) and Dominion Energy (50%). bpWE acquired Dominion’s 50% stake in July 2020, gaining full ownership of the wind farm.
Fowler Ridge II is operated as a 50:50 joint venture between bpWE and AEP Renewables, an owner and developer of wind and solar energy projects, while Fowler Ridge IV, also known as Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge, is operated by Pattern Energy Group, an energy storage company.
Fowler Ridge I, II and III wind farms span over 42,000 acres with 355 wind turbines and a capacity of 600MW, enough power to support 122,000 homes in Indiana. The Fowler Ridge IV wind farm generates 150MW with 65 turbines and can power 46,000 homes a year.
Fowler Ridge I wind farm make-up
Construction on the 300MW Fowler Ridge I wind farm commenced in 2008 and it became operational in 2009. The wind farm is equipped with 40 Clipper C96 2.5MW wind turbines and 122 Vestas V82 1.65MW wind turbines.
The Clipper C96 wind turbines have a hub height of 262ft and a rotor diameter of 314ft, while the Vestas V82 wind turbines have a hub height of 262ft and a rotor diameter of 269ft.
Details of Fowler Ridge II wind farm
Fowler Ridge II has a capacity of 200MW and is located on the west side of Fowler Ridge I on a 17,000 acre site. Construction began in June 2009 and was completed in January 2010.
The wind farm includes 133 GE SLE 1.5MW wind turbines with a rotor diameter of 77m. The total cost of the development of phase two was $77.2m.
The power generated is supplied under four 50MW long-term power contracts for 20 years, including three with American Electric Power and one with CenterPoint Energy Delivery.
Fowler Ridge III wind farm details
Fowler Ridge III wind farm was undertaken as part of the third phase of the FRWF project and became operational in 2009. It has a capacity of 100MW and supplies power to 30,000 homes.
The wind farm is equipped with 60 Vestas V82 1.65MW turbines.
Fowler Ridge IV wind farm details
The 150MW Fowler Ridge IV wind farm became operational in January 2016 and supplies power to 46,000 homes a year. It is equipped with 65 Siemens Gamesa SWT-2.3-108 2.30 MW wind turbines.
The electricity generated by the wind farm is supplied under a long-term power purchase agreement to Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud computing platform company, which then distributes it to the grids that power its datacentres. The agreement is part of AWS’s goal to power all its operations with renewable energy by 2025.
The balance-of-plant (BOP) engineering and construction contract for Fowler Ridge I wind farm was awarded to RMT WindConnect, a wind energy development, engineering and construction company, in February 2008. Work included the construction of roads and concrete and steel turbine foundations.
Design Consultants, a consulting firm, provided design services for an operations and maintenance facility and wind turbine control and maintenance facility for Fowler Ridge I wind farm, while Steinberger Construction, an industrial contractor, was responsible for the construction of the two facilities.
Mortenson Construction, a construction engineering company, was the prime contractor for the Fowler Ridge II wind farm, while the structural engineering services were provided by HDR Engineering, an engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services provider based in the US.