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Vectren partners with First Solar to develop 50MW solar project in Indiana

Published 14 March 2018

Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana (Vectren) has partnered with First Solar for the development of 50MW solar plant, which is part of Vectren's long-term electric generation transition plan.

During the past few months, Vectren has been working with Orion Renewable Power Resources, a joint venture between Orion Renewable Energy Group and MAP Renewable Energy, to select, secure and eventually develop the Troy, Ind. property.

The solar array will be situated on approximately 300 acres and will consist of about 150,000 solar panels. The array will be mounted on a single-axis tracking system, which enables the panels to automatically pivot to enhance energy generation as the sun’s rays move across the surface of the Earth.

The facility, which should be fully operational in the fall of 2020, is expected to generate enough power to meet the needs of more than 11,000 households per year.

Vectren chairman, president and CEO Carl Chapman said: “This significant renewable resource will be connected to our system to serve our local customers.

“We are confident First Solar and Orion are the right partners for this scale of a project, which will bring one of the largest single-sited solar farms in the Midwest to southern Indiana.”

Construction will begin after the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission authorizes the project; a decision is expected in the first half 2019. The initial construction phase will require establishing a sub-station to interconnect with Vectren’s power grid and will begin immediately upon regulatory approval. The construction of the solar array will begin in mid-late 2019.

First Solar Markets, Origination and Government Affairs Vice President Eran Mahrer said: “First Solar’s expertise in design and construction of solar power plants aligns perfectly with Vectren’s Smart Energy Future strategy.

Using our high performance Series 6 thin film modules and a plant design approach tailored to utility ownership values, we will contribute significantly to Vectren’s commitment to deliver clean, reliable and reasonably-priced energy to its customers. “It is exciting to be a part of enabling utility scale solar in Indiana.”

During construction, the project will provide up to 250 jobs, many of which will be union labor.

Orion origination and finance vice president Tim Lasocki said: “Orion wishes to thank the landowners, the Spencer County Council, and the Lincolnland Economic Development Corporation for their support of the project.

“We are pleased to be working with Vectren and First Solar to create a construction-ready project for utility ownership.”

Source: Company Press Release