Developers propose more utility-scale solar for Indiana


AEP Energy, a unit of American Electric Power, and Global Energy Generation (Doral LLC) signed a long-term purchase agreement for the first phase of the 1.65 GW Mammoth Solar project in northern Indiana.

Mammoth Solar 1 would include 480 MW of capacity, and would be the first phase of a planned development that would cover more than 12,000 acres in Starke and Pulaski counties.

Mammoth Solar 1 is expected to begin construction during the fourth quarter and reach commercial operation by the second quarter of 2023. It will sell energy into the PJM market.

The developers touted the benefits of removing so much farmland from active production to make room for the solar project, including reduced use of chemicals and fertilizers and the reduction of around 1 billion gallons a year of water used for irrigation.

AEP Energy supplies electricity and natural gas for more than 500,000 residential and business customers in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Israel-based Doral LLC was founded in 2019 as a joint venture between Doral Group and Clean Energy Generation. Doral currently has more than 3 GW of projects under development and 30,000 acres of land control, mainly in Midwest and Mid-Atlantic U.S.

Growth market

Indiana is a growing market for utility-scale solar. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) projects the state to install nearly 4 GW over the next five years. That would be good enough for the 8th most expected capacity additions of any state in the country.

In recent months, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO), announced a series of deals for solar energy as the utility transitions away from coal-fired generation.

In March, the utility signed a build-transfer agreement for the 200 MW Elliot Solar project, set to be built in the southwestern part of the state with Capital Dynamics. The project. Capital Dynamics will construct the project and NIPSCO will enter into a joint venture once construction is complete.

The company also announced 900 MW over three projects: the 200 MW Cavalry Solar project, paired with 60 MW of energy storage; the 265 MW Dunns Bridge Solar I project; and the 435 MW of solar and 75 MW of battery storage Dunns Bridge Solar II project.

NIPSCO also signed a long-term power purchase agreement for 280 MW of the power generated by Capital Dynamics’ upcoming Gibson Solar project and a build & transfer agreement for the 200 MW Indiana Crossroads Solar Park .

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