EDP Renovaveis SA, the Portuguese arm of EDP Renewables, announced that it has sold an 80% equity stake in the 200 MW Riverstart Solar project to Toronto-based investment firm Connor Clark & Lunn Infrastructure.
Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, which buys power on behalf of 18 electric cooperatives in Indiana and Illinois, signed a contract in early 2018 to buy power from the 200 MW project. Riverstart is being developed in Randolph County, right near the Ohio border. EDP Renewables is building the project and expects to have it online in 2022, delayed after an initial expected start date in 2021.
The project was initially procured as part of a plan between Colorado-based Hallador Energy and Hoosier Energy to develop up to 1 GW of renewable power near the Merom Coal Generation Station, which Hoosier expects to retire in May 2023.
At the time of its announcement, the Riverstart Solar project was set to be the largest project in Indiana. If it is completed this year, it’ll hold that designation, though not for long. A project currently being developed by NextEra Energy Resources in Pike County, Indiana will be the state’s largest upon its completion. That project is set to clock in with 250 MW solar + 180 MWh energy storage, and is expected to enter service by May 1, 2024.
Both of those projects are set to contribute mightily to Indiana’s impending solar boom. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, Indiana has installed nearly 1,350 MW of solar to date, with more than 400 MW of that capacity coming online in 2021.
In the next 5 years, Indiana is predicted to add just under 6 GW of solar, good for fourth-most in the nation over that time. Much of this capacity is being developed in order to replace the state’s aging and soon-to-be retiring coal plants.
The aforementioned Pike Country project is being developed to help replace the generation lost by the retirement of two coal-fired units at the Petersburg plant in 2023, affecting around 630 MW of capacity.
The Riverstart transaction is part of a wider agreement between EDPR and Connor Clark & Lunn Infrastructure that also included the transfer of an 80% equity shareholding in four operating wind farms totaling 363 MW in the U.S.
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