Sunrise brief: Indiana utility asks to add 400 MW of solar capacity


CenterPoint Energy asked Indiana state utility regulators for the go-ahead to acquire a 300 MW solar array as part of the company’s electric generation transition plan, announced in June 2020.

The company also sought regulatory approval to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) for an additional 100 MW of solar energy.

The utility said it plans to enter into an agreement with Capital Dynamics to build the 300 MW solar energy project on 2,500 acres in Indiana’s far southwest corner, near Evansville. Arevon Energy Management and energy company Tenaska are co-developing the project, which would be owned by CenterPoint.

The utility also proposes buying 100 MW of solar power under a 25-year PPA from Clēnera, which is developing a separate project also in southwest Indiana.

The combined 400 MW of solar capacity is intended to support CenterPoint Energy’s goal to cut its operational emissions by 70% by 2035.

The Capital Dynamics project would include more than 730,000 solar panels, and could enter service in 2023.

Duke Energy solar project

Duke Energy has started work on the 50 MW Broad River Solar power plant near Charlotte, North Carolina.

The project will be owned and operated by Duke Energy Renewables, a unit of Duke Energy. The project was selected as part of the competitive bidding process established by 2017’s solar legislation in North Carolina.

The power plant will contain more than 170,000 solar panels across approximately 500 acres, and is expected to enter service by the end of 2021.

Under North Carolina’s Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy, proposed projects must be built where there is a need for energy capacity on the Duke Energy system in North Carolina or South Carolina.

The facility’s design, procurement of inverters, balance of plant systems, and project construction will be performed by Swinerton. Power will be sold through a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Nearing completion

Altus Power America is targeting a second quarter completion date for a combined solar plus energy storage system in Massachusetts. The project comprises a 2.9 MW solar system and a 2 MWh battery system. Altus Power said the system is a part of the Massachusetts SMART program.

AC Power community solar

AC Power submitted nine community solar projects in early February for consideration by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU). If all projects are selected, AC Power’s portfolio would provide 19.49 MW of solar capacity in the Jersey Central Power & Light service territory and 12.04 MW in the Atlantic City Electric service territory, for a total of 31.53 MW of solar power.

Run by the NJBPU, the three-year program will accept more than 225 MW of community solar projects aimed at helping New Jersey reach its goal of generating 100% clean energy by 2050. The program’s second year goal aims to award 150 MW of community solar, doubling the capacity accepted in the first year.

A pair of projects from AC Power were chosen during the first year and are set to break ground this spring. One is 0.83 MW project on part of a closed landfill;  the other is a 1.43 MW project on a former sand and gravel pit. AC Power said it hopes to expand both projects as part of its latest proposed capacity bid. The company has proposed building solar on former landfills and resource extraction sites, including a floating array at a flooded former quarry.

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