Sun shines on solar initiative

Solar array on I-64 adds to renewable energy supply

Posted on Nov 28 2016 in Southern Indiana Power

solar-projectWith the demand for renewable energy projects growing, Southern Indiana Power is bringing the benefits of utility-scale solar energy to our community.

Under bright sunny skies, directors and representatives from Southern Indiana Power, Dubois REC, Hoosier Energy and local officials dedicated a new, cooperative-owned, solar array on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Thousands of solar panels on Interstate 64 at the Dale interchange are now supplying energy to the grid for the benefit of cooperative consumers throughout southern Indiana.

The 4,100-panel array is capable of generating one megawatt of power, Southern Indiana Power and Dubois REC worked alongside Hoosier Energy, our power supplier, to identity a prime location for the array.

“As a cooperative, our focus is always local, so we are excited to add this renewable energy resource right in our own backyard to Hoosier Energy’s generation mix,” said Steve Seibert, president and CEO of Southern Indiana Power, which serves 9,000 members.

“Thanks to this project, we are in a better position to learn together how to best tap into the power of the sun to bring renewable energy to our communities,” added Don Book, general manager of Dubois REC.

The array is the fourth of 10 in our power supplier’s solar program, which is part of an “all-of-the-above” power supply strategy to diversify the generation portfolio and further the cooperative commitment of affordability, reliability and community.  Collectively, the solar sites represent an opportunity for Southern Indiana Power to obtain information on how the latest solar technology can provide low-cost electricity for member consumers. Once collected, this information will help Southern Indiana Power learn more on how this variable energy resource intergrates with the grid and how solar power might offset the need for other, more costly energy resources during periods of high demand.

“Participating in a larger scale project such as this helps us stay ahead of the learning curve as real-world data comes in,” Seibert said.

Installation of the utility-scale project began in July and was completed in 90 days. At full capacity, the solar array will provide enough electricity for about 150 homes and businesses. …