Officials in Indiana have approved a proposal by Capital Dynamics and Tenaska to build a 150 MW solar installation across 1,200 acres near Petersburg, known now as the Ratts 1 Solar Project.
With all but final approval from the state utility commission now attained, construction on Ratts is set to begin next summer, with an expected commercial operation date sometime in 2023. The project’s construction is anticipated to create 350 construction jobs, as well as four full-time maintenance positions upon completion.
As of yet, there are no plans to incorporate an energy storage system alongside the installation.
The project proposal includes a decommissioning plan by the developers that sets out to return the land to its pre-construction use, once the project’s 35-year expected lifespan is over. This idea of disappearing without a trace after a project’s lifespan has begun to gain traction among large-scale solar projects in Indiana. The planned 200-MW Emerald Green Solar Farm, being developed by Engie has a similar plan in place, with that project’s proposal including the goal of making sure the land can be used for agriculture again.
Indiana’s solar push
This project is just the latest in a summer that has seen enormous capacity additions for the state of Indiana, which, according to SEIA, is home to just 445 MW of solar to date.
Alongside Ratts 1 will come the aforementioned Emerald Green Solar Farm, as well as two being developed, constructed, owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources: Brickyard Solar and Greensboro Solar.
Brickyard Solar will be a 200-MW project located in Boone County, also set to go online some time in 2023. Brickyard Solar has a 20-year purchase power agreement (PPA) in place with Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO).
In Henry County, Greensboro Solar is being developed with a planned capacity of 100 MW. Greensboro holds the designation of being the only project in this recent wave of large-scale solar in Indiana to be paired with energy storage. That system is set to be 30 MW and likely somewhere between 120 and 180 MWh. This project also has a 20-year PPA in place with NIPSCO, one which is nearly identical to Brickyard’s. Like every other project listed here, Greensboro is set to go online in 2023.
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