Inside INdiana Business

CenterPoint looking at more renewables in southwest Indiana

(Stock image courtesy: Pixabay/Public domain)

POSEY COUNTY, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Texas-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is seeking approval of its planned acquisition of a 300-megawatt solar array in Posey County. The utility, which acquired Vectren Corp. in 2019, says it is also requesting approval to enter into a power purchase agreement for an additional 100 megawatts of solar energy from another solar project in southwest Indiana.

CenterPoint Energy Indiana South, the Indiana-based electric and natural gas business for the utility, is working on an agreement with Switzerland-based Capital Dynamics, which is co-developing the Posey Solar Project through its affiliate, Arevon Energy Management, in partnership with Nebraska-based Tenaska.

The Posey Solar Project, when complete, will feature more than 730,000 solar panels across 2,500 acres that are expected to generate enough energy to power more than 50,000 homes annually. 

The utility is requesting the approvals from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. CenterPoint says construction will begin after it receives the necessary authorization permits from the IURC, which is expected in late 2021 or early 2022.

“Capital Dynamics is proud to support CenterPoint Energy’s efforts to deliver low-cost, sustainable energy generation to its customers in Posey County,” said Martin Hahn, chief executive officer of Capital Dynamics. “The project is expected to provide substantial economic benefits to local communities and help the state of Indiana take another step towards meeting its clean energy and climate goals.”

The second solar array involved in the power purchase agreement is being developed by Idaho-based Clenera. Like the Posey Solar Project, developers are expecting to begin construction in late 2021 or early 2022 after receiving approvals from the IURC. 

CenterPoint says, when the array is complete in 2023, the 100 megawatts the utility will receive through the PPA will generate enough energy to power more than 18,500 homes per year.

“The construction of this solar array and the additional energy obtained through the power purchase agreement will further CenterPoint Energy’s Smart Energy Future strategy,” said Steve Greenley, senior vice president of generation development for CenterPoint. “Ensuring continued reliability, addressing sustainability needs for the region, and tailored to utility ownership values, these projects will contribute significantly to CenterPoint Energy’s commitment to deliver clean and reasonably priced energy to its customers.”

CenterPoint says the addition of 400 megawatts of solar will support its goal of reducing operational emissions by 70% by 2035.