CenterPoint Energy says its Indiana-based electric and natural gas business, CenterPoint Energy Indiana South, is seeking approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to enter into an agreement for the acquisition of a 300 MW solar array. The company is also requesting approval to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) for an additional 100 MW of solar energy.
CenterPoint Energy is seeking to work with Capital Dynamics, the company that will build the utility-owned project in Posey County, Ind. Arevon Energy Management and Tenaska are co-developing the project. CenterPoint Energy is also proposing to purchase additional solar power from Clēnera, which is developing a solar project in Southwestern Indiana, under a 25-year contract.
Together, the 400 MW represent the next component of the company’s Smart Energy Future plan to meet stakeholder sustainability goals and implements the most economic path forward as outlined in last summer’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The plan details an all-of-the-above approach including renewables, natural gas and coal to ensure regional reliability and includes flexible generation to meet seasonal peak loads.
“As one of the largest single-sited solar arrays in the Midwest, these significant renewable resources would serve our local electric customers, providing a low-cost, stable energy option,” says Steve Greenley, senior vice president of generation development at CenterPoint Energy. “We are confident we have chosen the right companies with the right experience for projects of this scale.”
Following the completion of the most recent IRP in June 2020, which was greatly influenced by customer input and a request for proposal including all sources of generation, CenterPoint Energy has been working with Capital Dynamics to explore opportunities for the eventual development of the Posey County property. Following all required approvals, the solar array will be located on approximately 2,500 acres and will consist of more than 730,000 solar panels. The facility is expected to be fully operational in 2023.
Construction of the solar project with Capital Dynamics will begin upon the receipt of necessary authorization and permits from the IURC. A decision on CenterPoint Energy’s request is expected this year or early 2022. The initial construction phase will require establishing a substation to interconnect with CenterPoint Energy’s power grid. During the proposed 14- to 18-month construction timeline, the project will provide approximately 250 full-time jobs. Additionally, $47.8 million will be contributed to Posey County during construction, as well as $1.2 million in property taxes per year during the solar array’s operation.
Construction on the second solar array will begin upon receipt of necessary authorization and permits, with a decision on CenterPoint Energy’s request also expected later this year or early 2022. Scheduled to be in service by 2023, CenterPoint Energy will contract 100 MW of the total 200 MW array.