Indiana News

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Approves 4 New Solar Power Plants for I&M

(Photo Supplied/ I&M Power)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on Wednesday
approved Indiana Michigan Power’s plan to expand its renewable energy generation with four
new solar plants capable of generating energy to power more than 200,000 typical homes by
mid-2026.

The important advances in clean energy are consistent with the Powering the Next Tomorrow
Integrated Resource Plan that Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) previously submitted to regulators
in Michigan and Indiana. These solar power plants and the company’s plans to add even more
clean-energy resources are part of I&M’s and American Electric Power’s commitment to achieve
net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2045.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission determined that the four new solar power plants will
help serve the public’s energy needs and are designated as Clean Energy Projects. The four
solar plants were selected as the best among 32 project bids submitted as part of an open,
competitive request-for-proposals process. The plants are consistent with I&M’s Integrated
Resource Plan addressing the future energy needs of customers in light of the planned
retirement of I&M’s last remaining coal-fueled plant by 2028.

“These four Clean Energy Projects will diversify I&M’s energy mix, support reliability, provide
environmental benefits and safeguard against fuel-cost volatility,” said Steve Baker, I&M
president and chief operating officer. “The availability of renewable energy is important to
support economic development opportunities in the communities I&M serves. Increasing the
amount of renewable energy available to businesses will be a significant benefit to maintaining
and attracting new investments and jobs to the area.”

The diversity of generation sources also increases I&M’s flexibility to better serve customers by
having options to address future changes in regulatory policies and price volatility of energy
prices for the various forms of generation.

The four Indiana plants will have a combined generation capacity of 749 megawatts:

  • Lake Trout, Blackford County
  • Mayapple/IN, Pulaski County
  • Sculpin, DeKalb County
  • Elkhart County, Elkhart County

I&M will invest about $1 billion in the two largest solar power plants, Lake Trout and Mayapple,
which I&M will own and operate. I&M will purchase the power generated from the independently
operated Sculpin and Elkhart County solar power plants.

The developers of the four sites have been working with local officials in the four counties to
address any concerns and meet the requirements to gain local approval.

I&M’s plans were also submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission, which has
approved the Mayapple, Sculpin and Elkhart County plants. The Lake Trout facility is subject to
a different regulatory process in Michigan due to its larger size and is still pending.

I&M’s current clean-energy generation includes five solar plants; wind power from four Hoosier
plants; six hydro-electric plants; and the Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Mich. I&M’s coalfueled plant in Rockport will be fully retired in 2028. More than 80% of energy I&M generated in
2022 was carbon-emission free.

The Lake Trout and Mayapple projects are slated to begin construction in fall 2024 and be
generating power by spring 2026. Elkhart County and Sculpin are expected to be operational
by the end of 2025.

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