U.S. Navy Assistant Secretary Dennis McGinn joined Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb Wednesday to update progress on a planned solar facility at Naval Support Activity Crane. The department is partnering with Duke Energy on the project, and says more energy-focused public private partnerships could come in the future.
The solar facility, which is projected to be one of the state’s largest, is awaiting approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The installation would feature about 76,000 solar panels spanning around 145 acres on the southeast side of the base.The power generated at the facility will be available to Duke Energy Indiana customers as well as the Navy.
McGinn calls the project mutually beneficial, saying such partnerships helped the department surpass its goal to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy by the end of 2015. He says the facility will help the base and surrounding communities by "physically securing assets, diversifying the local power portfolio and boosting the base’s resiliency with the in-kind consideration received for use of Navy land."
Duke Energy and the Navy partnered on a similar array at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, which is now operational.