Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Co. is bringing three more solar farms into its renewable energy line up as part of the utility’s long-term generation strategy.
NIPSCO says it has finalized three build transfer agreements with NextEra Energy Resources LLC, a Florida-based renewable energy producer, which will construct the northwest Indiana solar farms. Together, the farms will generate 900 megawatts of power.
Construction on the proposed solar projects is expected to begin in 2022 in Jasper and White counties. NIPSCO, a subsidiary of NiSource inc. (NYSE: NI), is planning for the farms to be operational in 2022 and 2023.
NIPSCO says it will enter into joint ventures to own and operate the systems once construction is complete.
“The addition of these three solar projects and associated battery storage is an investment in the future of Indiana and the future of NIPSCO, as we deliver on our promise of bringing safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president.
The energy company says it will seek approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
The three projects include:
- Dunns Bridge Solar I – a 265 MW solar project slated for Jasper County. The project will include an estimated 900,000 solar panels. NIPSCO says this operation will be capable of producing enough energy to power 79,500 homes.
- Dunns Bridge Solar II – a 435 MW of power generation paired with 75 MW of battery storage in Jasper County. The project will include an estimated 1,500,000 solar panels with the ability produce power for 130,500 homes.
- Cavalry Solar – the project will have 200 MW of solar with 60 MW of battery storage and will be in White County. The project will include an estimated 650,000 solar panels with the ability to produce power for 60,000 homes.
NIPSCO says the three projects will together create 500 construction jobs. The company says the new Jasper county solar farms should generate $59 million in tax revenue for Jasper County and $25 million for White County over the life of the projects.
“As the county continues to search for additional economic development projects in light of the coming retirement of the Schaefer Generating Station, we look forward to this new opportunity to bring stability to our county’s tax base,” said Kendell Culp, Jasper County commissioner.
In 2018, NIPSCO announced plans to be coal-free by 2028 and has since invested in wind and solar power technologies. In July, the company announced two other solar projects for Henry and Boone counties.