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Construction begins on I&M solar farm in northern Indiana

I & M is building a 20-megawatt solar farm in St. Joseph County. (photo courtesy: I & M)

GRANGER, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Contractors have begun moving dirt on a planned 20-megawatt solar farm in St. Joseph County to help provide power to thousands of homes and businesses in northern Indiana, more than doubling its current output.

Fort Wayne-based I&M, a division of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), says the St. Joseph Solar Farm will be the company’s largest solar-generating facility.

The utility says this farm will have the capacity to produce enough energy to power 2,700 homes annually.

I&M currently operates four solar generation facilities. Three are in Indiana and one in Michigan. The company says those solar facilities generate nearly 15 megawatts of electricity, with enough energy to power 2,000 homes annually.

The facility will have approximately 57,000 solar panels.

“The St. Joseph Solar Farm will provide I&M customers with local green resources, to be used by local homes and businesses in addition to helping to attract businesses looking for renewable energy options,” said Toby Thomas, I&M president and chief operating officer.

I&M says it is working in partnership with the University of Notre Dame on the project, collaborating on educational opportunities and research benefits.

St. Joseph Solar Farm is expected to operational by the spring of 2021.