Renewable Energy Growth in Southern Indiana
Hoosier Energy partners with Capital Dynamics for 150 MW of solar
Hoosier Energy recently signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Capital Dynamics CEI to buy 150 megawatts of power generated by the Ratts 2 Solar Project in Knox County, Indiana. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 with commercial operation anticipated in 2023.
“Hoosier Energy’s PPA with Capital Dynamics is an important step toward achieving our long-range plan of adding diverse projects to our energy portfolio that focus on lowering costs for our members and reducing our carbon footprint,” said President and CEO Donna Walker.
Capital Dynamics owns two separate projects, Ratts 1 Solar and Ratts 2 Solar, named for the retired Frank E. Ratts Generating Station. These solar arrays interconnect with that primary substation where Hoosier Energy’s first power plant once stood.
When the Hoosier Energy Board of Directors announced last year to retire the Merom Generating Station, the search began for a replacement portfolio focused on member-consumer rates, rate stability and predictability, environmental stewardship, environmental sustainability and generation diversity.
Heath Norrick, Senior Manager, Portfolio, said the request for proposals brought in enough bids to replace the Merom Generating Station’s 1,070 megawatts 20 times over. The Portfolio Team began separating projects into buckets, identifying about 500 megawatts of solar to acquire.
“We are familiar with Ratts 2 Solar because it interconnects with our system. It’s a great utilization of existing infrastructure, built by us, to provide value into the future,” Norrick said, adding about Capital Dynamics, “We have had a decent, long-standing relationship and familiarity with them and we have a high level of confidence in their ability to build a project.”
This partnership not only expands Hoosier Energy’s renewable portfolio by purchasing from a solar array, but also purchasing accredited renewable energy and offering it to the membership. When members purchase renewable energy credits, they are ensured to be purchasing from renewable generation, according to Ryan Henderson, Senior Manager, Emerging Energy Resources.
“When meeting with commercial and industrial customers who are exploring renewable energy installations in order to achieve their renewable goals, we also offer them renewable energy credits as an alternative. In most cases they accept the RECs alternative we provide because it achieves the same goals at a much lower cost,” Henderson said.