The largest of Indiana Michigan Power’s (I&M) first four solar power plants is now online, bringing the utility’s total solar capacity above 10 MW. Covering 40 acres and consisting of 57,500 solar panels, the 5 MW Olive Solar Power Plant is just east of New Carlisle and will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 700 homes annually.
The plant is the third of I&M’s four initial solar power plants to generate energy. The 2.6 MW Twin Branch Solar Power Plant, east of Mishawaka, went online just two weeks ago, and the 2.5 MW Deer Creek plant outside Marion, Ind., went online late in 2015. Combined, the three plants are generating energy equivalent to power more than 1,400 homes annually, according to the company. A fourth plant, in Watervliet, Mich., will begin generating solar energy later this year.
“I&M’s move into solar power generation has been smooth and relatively quick, with completion of three solar generating plants coming less than 19 months after the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved our proposal for solar,” said Paul Chodak III, president and chief operating officer of I&M.
In addition to solar, I&M’s generation portfolio also includes nuclear, hydro, coal and, through power purchase agreements, wind. About 60% of the energy generated by I&M in 2015 came from non-carbon-emitting sources.