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2 utility-scale solar projects start construction in northern Indiana

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 01st November

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) started construction on two utility-scale solar projects that are expected to come online in 2022.

“Breaking ground on our first two solar projects is a critical next step in the evolution of our ‘Your Energy, Your Future’ electric generation transition plan,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president. “We’re proud to be investing in our state and local economies with these two Indiana projects designed to generate lower-cost, sustainable energy.”

Dunns Bridge Solar I is a 265-MW facility located in Jasper County. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources is constructing the project. Dunns Bridge Solar I will include an estimated 900,000 solar panels capable of producing enough energy to power 79,500 homes.

The second phase of the project, Dunns Bridge Solar II, which will also be constructed by NextEra Energy Resources, will have 435 MW of solar paired with 75 MW of battery storage. Dunns Bridge Solar II will include an estimated 1,500,000 solar panels and is expected to be operational in 2023.

NextEra Energy Resources will sell both completed projects to NIPSCO.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with NextEra Energy Resources and NIPSCO to deliver one of the largest solar investments in the nation, right here in Jasper County, Indiana,” said Stephen Eastridge, Jasper County economic development director. “Dunns Bridge Solar will provide a sustainable future for Jasper County, by injecting much-needed tax base and jobs, both construction and permanent, into our local economy.”

The second project, Indiana Crossroads Solar, is a 200-MW solar farm located in White County. EDP Renewables North America (EDPR) is developing and constructing the project. The solar park will be a joint venture between NIPSCO and EDPR.

Indiana Crossroads Solar will disburse more than $1 million each year to landowners and more than $40 million in local government payments over the life of the project. The project will also support hundreds of jobs during the solar park’s construction and several full-time, permanent jobs to maintain and operate the project.

“Indiana Crossroads Solar Park is the fourth project EDPR NA and NIPSCO have collaborated on, and we are pleased to expand our partnership with NIPSCO and our presence in the Hoosier State,” said Miguel Prado, CEO of EDPR NA. “White County has long embraced renewable energy projects and the addition of the Indiana Crossroads Solar Park will mean even more economic and environmental benefits for the local community.”

NIPSCO plans to be 100% coal-free by 2028 by retiring its coal-fired generation and adding a combination of cleaner energy sources to its existing portfolio, which includes wind, natural gas and hydroelectric generation.

News item from NIPSCO