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CenterPoint Energy will get 400 megawatts of solar power from Posey, Warrick counties

Evansville Courier & Press logo Evansville Courier & Press 10/28/2021 Mark Wilson, Evansville Courier & Press

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — CenterPoint Energy has been given approval to acquire a 300-megawatt solar power development that will be built in Posey County.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on Thursday also approved CenterPoint to purchase another 100-megawatts of power from a solar energy development planned in Warrick County, said Alyssia Oshodi, a Centerpoint spokeswoman.

a close up of a street: One of Vectren's 2-megawatt solar arrays consisting of approximately 8,000 ground-mounted, fixed-tilt solar panels on a 15-acre site near the northwest corner of Oak Hill Cemetery on Morgan Avenue. Each site will supply enough renewable energy to power more than 400 homes a year, said Vectren President and CEO Carl Chapman. © MaCabe Brown / Courier & Press One of Vectren's 2-megawatt solar arrays consisting of approximately 8,000 ground-mounted, fixed-tilt solar panels on a 15-acre site near the northwest corner of Oak Hill Cemetery on Morgan Avenue. Each site will supply enough renewable energy to power more than 400 homes a year, said Vectren President and CEO Carl Chapman.

A final application for the project has not been submitted to the county's Area Plan Commission for public comment and approval. 

Arevon Energy Management and Tenaska are developing the 3,000-acre project in rural Marrs Township in southeast Posey County. It will be built by Arevon and owned by CenterPoint.

The project has drawn opposition from residents and farmers concerned how it will affect property values, safety and quality of life. The project is slated to begin operating in 2023.

More: Customers voice cost, climate concerns at CenterPoint Energy rate hike hearing

CenterPoint will also enter into a 25-year power purchase agreement with Rustic Hills Solar, a development of Clenara LLC, an Idaho-based company. It will be a 200-megawatt project and also will begin operating in 2023, Oshodi said.

Hoosier Energy, a Bloomington, Indiana rural electric co-op also will purchase power from the Warrick County development.

No applications for site review or Board of Zoning Appeals approval have been filed for the project yet, said Molly Barnhill, executive director of the Warrick County Area Plan Commission.

Oshodi said the combined 400 megawatts of solar power will further CenterPoint's long-term plan to transition its power generation from coal to renewable energy sources. The company has committed to achieving a goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2035.

More: More solar farm developments are migrating to Tri-State as renewable energy demand grows

It plans to replace its coal-burning A.B. Brown power plant in Posey County with natural gas turbines has received criticism from customers for the approximately $23 a month it will add to bills.

Environmental organizations have criticized it because it will still have some carbon emissions and also for potential environmental impacts of the 23-mile pipeline that will carry the natural gas to the power plant.

Mark Wilson covers education and environment at the Courier & Press. Contact him at mark.wilson@courierpress.com.   

This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: CenterPoint Energy will get 400 megawatts of solar power from Posey, Warrick counties

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