Indiana Michigan (I&M) Power has announced plans to build and operate five solar generation facilities. If approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, the project will have a combined generation capacity of about 16 megawatts, enough energy to power more than 2,500 homes for a year. The estimated cost of the project is $38 million.
I&M’s clean energy solar generation facilities will be located in different areas of the company’s service territory in the two states. Locations of all five facilities have yet to be finalized.
Paul Chodak III, Indiana Michigan Power president and chief operating officer, says, “I&M constantly looks at emerging technologies and our customers’ evolving needs, and now is the right time to move forward with solar power. With this project, I&M will further broaden the diversity of our power generation, with three sources of renewable energy: solar, wind and water.”
Construction of the facilities is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2016 and be completed by the end of the year.
In addition, I&M reports its intent to use the clean energy solar pilot project as an opportunity “to study first-hand the various facets of designing, constructing and operating a utility-scale solar facility. Being owner and operator of the Clean Energy Solar Pilot Project facilities will enable I&M to become proficient in operating solar generation and integrating it reliably into the transmission grid.”
Chocak adds: “We will use the knowledge we gain from operating this pilot project to help offer customers additional safe, reliable, clean energy as we further expand solar production and examine other generation options in the future.”
I&M is also seeking approval from state regulators to give customers the option of subscribing to receive 50 kilowatt hour blocks of solar renewable energy credits through the new Green Power Program.