Sometimes change comes faster than you expect. After five years of a modest solar market, last Friday Indiana saw the signing of a solar contract for a single project which represents more than twice the capacity that the state has put online in any given year.
Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, which buys power on behalf of 18 electric cooperatives in Indiana and Illinois, has signed a contract to buy the power from a proposed 200 MW solar project in Randolph County, near the Ohio border. EDP Renewables, the US renewable energy arm of Portuguese power provider EDP, will build the Riverstart Solar Park and sell the power to Hoosier, and expects to have the project online in 2022.
Hoosier CEO Steve Smith called the project “an economical source of renewable energy” for the next 20 years and a “great fit for our member’s long-term needs”.
It will also dramatically increase the installed solar capacity in Indiana. SEIA estimates that that state has reached 276 MW, mostly through utility-scale solar projects. However, the organization also anticipates that more than 120 MW will come online this year, in part due to a growing market for commercial and industrial solar.
This will also be the continuation of EDP’s presence in Indiana. The company has already build more than 800 MW of wind projects in the state, and expects to have another 200 MW wind farm online by the end of the year.