• Stephanie Wells

A Better Way Forward

My name is Stephanie Wells, and I am excited to begin with Hoosiers for Renewables. I am gratified to be working with a group of good people who are working every day to advance sustainable economic development opportunities to rural Indiana communities through the power of wind and solar projects.


I grew up in rural Boone County and was active in 4-H. While I eventually moved to Indianapolis for work and school (where I obtained a degree in policy analysis), I am still a farm girl at heart. I am excited that this role is providing me the opportunity to visit many of Indiana’s rural counties (and county fairs!), and to connect with good people who share many of my values.


It occurs to me that I am embarking on this journey with Hoosiers for Renewables while we as a country gather to celebrate the birth of our nation. July 4th is always my favorite holiday, not just because I love picnics and fireworks (which I do), but because it is a time to reflect on the awesome privilege that we share in living here - a country founded on the hope and vision of a group of people who somehow instinctively knew that we could band together and make a better way forward.


Similarly, the settlers of Indiana were fearless trailblazers. Our ancestors were pioneers and immigrants who moved to this wild place and forged their own way. We know their stories – they have been handed down through the years within families. These Hoosiers built their fortunes and their farms through exceptionally hard work. They built communities and became known for a rugged individualism that sticks with us still today. I call it grit. These frontiersmen demonstrated that, like the Founding Fathers of old, they had a vision for how to make a better way forward.


Renewables are cheaper and cleaner and are a net positive for a local economy. It is critical that, as more renewable projects are built, that they be built in Indiana so that Indiana farmers and Indiana communities can benefit. We cannot be left behind.


Today, Indiana is in the middle of a massive transition. We are moving from almost entirely non-renewable energy sources to a diverse mix with wind and solar as a growing part. It’s exciting that as we grow our portfolio of renewable energy, we know there will be incredible economic and job opportunities from renewable energy available to Hoosiers. For example, a single 50-megawatt renewable energy project like a solar energy farm can generate more than $1 million in property tax revenue per year – that means new money for schools, road improvements and other essential services.



Renewables are cheaper and cleaner and are a net positive for a local economy. It is critical that, as more renewable projects are built, that they be built in Indiana so that Indiana farmers and Indiana communities can benefit. We cannot be left behind.


Indiana communities such as in White County and Randolph County are the success stories (so far) of renewables in Indiana. These communities understand that, while change can be complicated, rural communities can still win if they embrace renewable energy. These pro-renewable communities and their leaders, like our forbearers, have a vision for how to make a better way forward.


As a mother, a Hoosier, and someone who is interested in sustainable policies on their own merit, I hope to be some small part of the solution, which I believe relies heavily on renewable energy. For us, for our farms, for our families, and for our future. Together, we can realize a vision for how to make a better way forward.


Happy 4th of July!