Terre Haute-based Hallador Energy (Nasdaq: HNRG) is joining Bloomington’s Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative to develop up to 1,000 megawatts of renewable power. The new solar project will be located near the Merom Coal Generation Station in Sullivan, which Hoosier Energy expects to retire in May, 2023.

Hallador says plans call for developing 200 megawatts of energy from solar and battery storage through power purchase agreements with Hoosier Energy in 2025, and Hallador will look for other customers to develop the rest of the generating capacity at the Merom site.

“While it may seem surprising for a coal producer to assist with a renewable transition, Hallador has been helping serve the needs of Hoosier Energy for 17 years. Not only will this conversion assist both companies in
transitions to a greener future, but it will also benefit our members and their member-consumers as well,” said Hoosier Energy Chief Executive Officer Donna Walker.

Hallador President and CEO Brent Bilsland says renewable energy is the next natural step for the company.

“With today’s heightened focus on decarbonization, utilities are constantly evaluating the makeup of their
generation. Thus, during these times of rapid change we are seeing coal plant retirement dates being both
accelerated, for environmental reasons, and delayed, over grid stability concerns,” Bilsland said.