I&M Announces Clean Energy Solar Pilot Project

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Indiana Michigan Power has announced a Clean Energy Solar Pilot Project. The company plans to build and operate five solar generation facilities, adding another emission-free source of power to the company's generation portfolio, which already includes nuclear and hydro. If approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, the project will have a combined generation capacity of about 16 megawatts, producing energy equal to powering more than 2,500 homes for a year. The generation facilities will be located in different areas of the company's service territory in Indiana and Michigan. They are tentatively expected to be in the Muncie-Marion area, South Bend area, and in Michigan, but locations of all 5 have yet to be finalized. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in early 2016, with completion expected late that year. In a release sent by the company, officials say in addition to the new source of clean energy, I&M will use the project as a way to study first-hand the various facets of designing, constructing, and operating a utility-scale solar facility. The company says it is also seeking approval from state regulators to give customers the option of showing further support for solar power by subscribing to receive 50 kilowatt hour blocks of Solar Renewable Energy Credits through the new Green Power Program. The estimated cost of the project is $38 million. If approved, the project would result in an impact on customer rates of less than 1 percent.