The latest solar plant from Fort Wayne-based Indiana Michigan Power is now online. The Watervliet Solar Power Plant, located just east of Watervliet, Michigan has more than 50,000 panels and can generate up to 4.6 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough to power 650 homes each year.
The plant is the fourth solar facility from I&M to go online in the past year. The utility’s first solar plant, located just south of Marion, went online late last year, followed by the Twin Branch plant near Mishawaka in August and the Olive Solar Power plant east of New Carlisle in September.
In all, I&M says the four plants have the ability to generate nearly 15 megawatts of electricity, which can power more than 2,000 homes annually.
"Solar power is good for our customers, it’s good for our company and it’s good for the environment," said Paul Chodak, chief operating officer of I&M. "The addition of these solar plants comes as I&M advances in its transition toward less use of coal. In fact, even before these plants came online, I&Ms’ generation last year was 60 percent emission-free."
The solar plants are part of a $38 million project announced in 2014. The utility said then it was planning to build a total of five plants in Indiana and Michigan.
Last month, I&M filed for approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to make emissions improvements to one of the two units at its Rockport coal plant in Spencer County.