Another massive solar project is approved in Indiana


Indiana regulators have approved for construction the 195 MW Hardy Hills Solar project, recently acquired by AES Indiana from developer Invenergy.

The project is set to be constructed on nearly 1,800 acres in Clinton County, about 50 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Work is expected to begin this fall, with the project reaching commercial operation in 2023.  Invenergy will develop and manage the project’s construction.

According to early development documents, the project will utilize crystalline silicon panels on single-axis trackers, and by looking at an early development document, we can get an idea of how these panels will be laid out.

Hardy Hills represents the most recent entry in Indiana’s solar renaissance with new, massive, utility-scale solar projects popping up for development in the Hoosier State seemingly every week. The shift in generation philosophy has been notable, as Indiana has been a state historically committed to fossil fuels, with just under 1 GW of solar installed to date and much of that capacity coming on-line since the start of 2021.

Image: Solar Energy Industries Association

The Solar Energy Industries Association 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.

Earlier this month, Leeward Renewable Energy acquired the rights to the 150 MW Blackford Solar project from developer Tri Global Energy. That project, located in Blackford County, Indiana, northeast of Indianapolis, was originated in 2019. Tri Global is in the process of securing permits before construction starts. The project is expected to enter service in 2023.

In May, RES announced the company was working with local officials in St. Joseph County to bring a 150 MW solar installation to the area, dubbed Project Honeysuckle. According to RES, Honeysuckle has been in the works for more than a year and the company is looking to begin construction in 2022 and finish in 2023.

In March, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) 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.

Later, the utility company announced 900 MW of solar across 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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