NIPSCO, a subsidiary of NiSource Inc. announced the next phase of its plans to transition to lower-cost, cleaner energy resources, with the addition of two new solar farms that will be based in central Indiana.
The announcement is part of the energy provider's "Your Energy, Your Future" initiative – a customer-centric effort focused on delivering a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy mix for the future.
"Renewable energy technology continues to advance and it plays an essential role in our progression toward providing lower-cost energy resources, while maintaining the reliability our customers expect," said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president. "This latest addition is another exciting step forward for our customers and the state of Indiana as we look toward the future."
NIPSCO plans to be coal-free by 2028, and the company is adding a combination of renewable energy sources including wind, solar and battery storage technology to its existing natural gas generation resources. Several Indiana-based wind projects have previously been announced and construction activity is underway.
NIPSCO has finalized two 20-year purchase power agreements (PPAs) with subsidiaries of experienced renewable energy developer NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, for the electricity generated by these latest solar projects. The new solar capacity is expected to be in operation by mid-2023 with the two announced projects representing approximately 300 megawatts (MW) of nameplate capacity.
"We are pleased to work with our partners at NIPSCO to bring low-cost, renewable energy to customers and economic growth to the state of Indiana," said Matt Handel, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources. "These two solar projects will provide exciting new job opportunities, economic growth and clean, homegrown electricity in Indiana for decades to come."
The two projects were selected following a comprehensive review of bids submitted through the all source Request for Proposal (RFP) process that NIPSCO underwent in late 2019 – which continues to affirm the conclusions of the 2018 NIPSCO Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), that wind and solar resources were shown to be lower cost options for customers compared to other energy resource options.
NIPSCO has requested the addition of these new projects to its supply portfolio in filings with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
- Brickyard Solar – The 200 MW solar project, to be developed, constructed, owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC will be located in Boone County. The project will include an estimated 675,000 solar panels. NIPSCO will purchase the power directly from Brickyard Solar.
- Greensboro Solar – This solar project, to be developed, constructed, owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, will provide 100 MW of solar, along with 30 MW of battery storage. It will be located in Henry County. The project will include an estimated 329,500 solar panels. NIPSCO will purchase the power directly from Greensboro Solar.