By: Lee Boyland What is renewable energy? It is energy that comes from sources that are not depleted by use. Examples include energy from the sun, wind, and small (low-impact) hydropower, plus geothermal energy and wave and tidal systems (LEED Reference Guide for Green Interior Design and Construction, 2009 Edition). Renewable energy is something we’ve heard of that is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s more sustainably-focused culture. It is a concept for which a project pursuing LEED certification can receive credits, and so I wanted to share a project that’s going on in my (rural) backyard. Most of us have driven up I-65 between Lafayette, IN and Chicago, and if it’s been in the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly seen the huge wind farms in Benton County on either side of the interstate just north of Lafayette. Well, some of those wind turbines are coming to my neck of the woods! As reported by the Indiana Economic Digest in mid-May, the company E-on Climate & Renewables has begun the first phase of the Wildcat Wind Farm project. This first phase consists of constructing 69 wind turbines in Tipton County (where I reside) and 56 in Madison County. Access roads are currently being constructed, and one of these massive wind turbines is going to be installed about a half mile east of my home, with others popping up throughout the area. What does this mean for Tipton and Madison counties? Well, it means renewable energy will be going to Indiana Michigan Power Company customers. It means permit money for each wind turbine that will go to the two counties, and the creation of 200-300 jobs during construction, with a handful of permanent jobs in future maintenance. A true economic and ecological boost to our state … Pretty cool! What other forms of renewable energy have you seen becoming more prevalent?