Fort Wayne-based Indiana Michigan Power has broken ground on its first solar power plant in Michigan. The Watervliet Solar Power Plant will consist of more than 50,000 solar panels and is expected to generate enough energy to power 650 homes each year.
I&M says the plant will generate up to 4.6 megawatts of energy. It is one of four solar power generation plants that are a part of I&M’s Clean Energy Solar Pilot Project, one of which is located in Marion, Indiana with the other two currently under construction in St. Joseph County.
"I&M is pleased to add solar power to our fleet of emission-free generation sources in Michigan," said Paul Chodak, president and chief operating officer of I&M. "Four decades after our Cook Nuclear Plant began generating carbon-free energy in Michigan, this solar power plant is part of a pilot project that will play a significant role in I&M’s use of the sun to provide energy. I&M already uses wind, water and nuclear energy to generate half of our power, and solar is yet another emission-free energy source."
The Deer Creek Solar Facility has been operational since late last year. I&M says it, along with the Twin Branch and Olive plants in St. Joseph County, will be generating power for customers by year’s end. Together, the four plants will be able to generate up to 15 megawatts annually, which is the equivalent of 2,000 homes.