Indiana solar, solar+storage comes in at low prices


Indiana utility NIPSCO has revealed the bids that it has received under a major solicitation in an update to its 2018 Integrated Resource Plan (PDF)*, which includes large volumes of solar, wind and storage, in various combinations. In the document the utility lays out 90 unique bids, totaling just under 15 GW of capacity, from multiple generation sources: gas, “other fossil,” wind, wind+solar+storage, solar, solar+storage, storage and demand response. The projects offering electricity to the utility were located in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, as well as wind in Minnesota.

The utility specifically “needs” 600 MW, but placed no cap on the bids. Delivery will be required by June 1, 2023.

Indiana NIPSCO IRP Pricing

Solar power and solar+storage bids were submitted in two formats – “asset sale or option,” meaning building a project and then selling it to the utility to own (as shown in the top section of the above table), and a power purchase agreement (PPA) (the bottom half of the table).

The solar power asset sales, for 1.3 GW-AC worth of projects, were priced at $1.15/watt. The solar+storage project asset sales, 705 MW-AC worth, were bid at $1.18/W.

The solar PPAs, 26 of which that totaled almost 3.6 GW-AC of capacity, were averaged to 3.57¢/kWh. Solar+storage projects, just over 1 GW-AC, included the standard PPA price above and added a $5.90/kW per month capacity payment.

Storage bids alone came in at nearly double the solar+storage capacity price – averaging $11.24/kW per month. This might suggest the solar+storage bids are taking advantage of cheaper clipped or curtailed solar electricity.

The document didn’t specify volumes of energy storage included.

The “Project MW” (UCAP) vs “Bid MW” (ICAP) differences have to do with a utility calculation relating to the capacity factor of each source.

This meeting and proposal is the third of five before the utility decides on future steps on October 18.


Editor’s note: Special thanks to Ben Inskeep, an energy analyst at EQ Research, for his assistance in finding these documents.

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