By Neanda Salvaterra  Sep 7, 2017 7:22 am ET

BP PLC does big business in a rural U.S. town but the firm isn’t harvesting oil and gas— instead it is harnessing the wind, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Erin Ailworth.

Hundreds of wind turbines have been built around a city called Fowler in the state of Indiana. The white towers rise for miles amid the golden-tipped cornfields and leafy soybean plants.

More than half of the county’s 560 turbines are operated by BP, which has three wind farms here.

Wind developers have made $17 million in payments to the county and have spent $33 million on roads, a boon for an economically struggling community.

“As wind becomes a bigger part of the U.S. electricity mix, it is becoming an economic force in rural communities such as Fowler, a development that is changing the political conversation around renewable energy in many parts of the U.S. Wind supplied just over 6% of the country’s electricity last year, and the industry employed close to 102,000 people—nearly double the number working in coal mining, according to federal data,” the Journal reports.


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