BP has concluded a substantial technological enhancement at its Fowler Ridge 1 wind farm situated in northwest Indiana, heralding a transformative phase that promises increased power production, greater efficiency, and enhanced reliability.
The wind farm has undergone a significant upgrade, integrating cutting-edge Vestas turbines anticipated to amplify energy output by up to 40 percent. These turbines are projected to generate an average of 314,000 kilowatt-hours annually, potentially catering to the electricity needs of around 27,000 households. The advanced technology is designed to optimize power generation even at lower wind speeds, harnessing available wind resources more efficiently.
Orlando Alvarez, chairman and president of BP America, emphasized the significance of this upgrade, stating, “This project is a substantial upgrade for the wind farm and another investment in BP’s low-carbon energy future. It shows BP’s strategy in action – contributing to a more secure, affordable, and lower carbon energy mix while pursuing our net-zero ambition.”
The comprehensive project encompassed the overhaul of 40 turbines, incorporating the installation of 120 individual blades and 40 new nacelles—structures housing power generation equipment and transformers atop the wind towers. BP’s investment totaled approximately $100 million, aligning with the company’s expectations for renewable energy returns.
Ramit Bajaj, senior vice president of construction & operations for Vestas North America, highlighted the significance of this partnership, citing the project’s role in augmenting annual energy production and extending the project’s lifespan as essential components of the clean energy transition.
In a commitment to sustainability, BP intends to recycle the decommissioned blades, diverting up to 3.3 million pounds of material from landfills. These blades are slated for shredding and integration into raw materials for manufacturing cement products, emphasizing the company’s dedication to minimizing environmental impact.
Onshore wind forms a pivotal component of BP’s renewables & power business, one of the company’s five transition growth engines alongside bioenergy, convenience, electric-vehicle charging, and hydrogen.
BP oversees all three Fowler Ridge wind farms, collectively powering about 195,000 Indiana homes annually, with Fowler Ridge 1 and 3 entirely owned by BP.
The company operates nine onshore wind farms across six states and holds an interest in a tenth wind asset in Hawaii.
Currently, BP’s gross US onshore wind capacity stands at 1.7 gigawatts (1.3 GW net capacity), contributing to potentially powering over 540,000 homes annually through its US wind farms.