Indiana energy company Vectren Corp. has selected First Solar to build a 50 MW solar array outlined last month as part of Vectren’s long-term electric generation transition plan.
During the past few months, Vectren has been working with Orion Renewable Power Resources LLC – a joint venture between Orion Renewable Energy Group and MAP Renewable Energy – to select, secure and eventually develop the property, located in Troy, Ind.
The solar array, situated on approximately 300 acres, will consist of about 150,000 panels mounted on a single-axis tracking system. The facility, which should be fully operational in fall 2020, is expected to generate enough power to meet the needs of more than 11,000 households per year.
“This significant renewable resource will be connected to our system to serve our local customers,” says Carl Chapman, chairman, president and CEO of Vectren. “We are confident First Solar and Orion are the right partners for this scale of a project, which will bring one of the largest single-sited solar farms in the Midwest to southern Indiana.”
Construction will begin after the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission authorizes the project; a decision is expected in the first half 2019. The initial construction phase will require establishing a substation to interconnect with Vectren’s power grid and will begin immediately upon regulatory approval. The construction of the solar array will begin in mid to late 2019.
“Using our high-performance Series 6 thin-film modules and a plant design approach tailored to utility ownership values, we will contribute significantly to Vectren’s commitment to deliver clean, reliable and reasonably priced energy to its customers,” says Eran Mahrer, vice president of markets, origination and government affairs for First Solar. “It is exciting to be a part of enabling utility-scale solar in Indiana.”
During construction, the project will provide up to 250 jobs, many of which will be union labor, the partners note.
“Orion wishes to thank the landowners, the Spencer County Council, and the Lincolnland Economic Development Corp. for their support of the project,” notes Tim Lasocki, vice president of origination and finance for Orion. “We are pleased to be working with Vectren and First Solar to create a construction-ready project for utility ownership.”