Evansville-based Vectren Corp. (NYSE: VVC) has reached a settlement agreement regarding the utility’s plan to build a 50-megawatt solar farm in Spencer County. The agreement, which still requires approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, allows Vectren to recover costs of the project at a lower rate than originally proposed.
The agreement was reached with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana. It allows Vectren to recover costs at a levelized rate of $0.05452 per kilowatt hour, which the OUCC says is much closer to the current market prices for solar power than the rate originally proposed by Vectren.
The agreement also provides protection from potential cost increases for the project, capping the amount of money Vectren can recover through future rates.
"This agreement properly addresses concerns the OUCC previously raised about the facility’s costs and operations under Vectren’s original plan," Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor Bill Fine said in a news release. “We are confident that the settlement’s terms will allow the solar project to proceed in a way that includes appropriate consumer protections and long-term benefits."
The proposed solar farm will be built on 300 acres near Troy in Spencer County and will consist of 150,000 solar panels. The project is expected to be complete in the fall of 2020 and Vectren says the farm will have the ability to generate enough power to serve more than 12,000 homes annually.
Construction of the solar farm will begin after approval from the IURC. A decision from the commission is expected to be made in the first half of 2019.