Hoosier Energy and Clēnera, a developer of large-scale solar and storage projects, have announced a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Hoosier Energy and Clēnera’s affiliate, Rustic Hills Solar.
In a statement, Hoosier Energy said that the Rustic Hills Solar PPA is its first with Clēnera, a subsidiary of Enlight Renewable Energy. As a not-for-profit generation and transmission cooperative, Hoosier Energy provides electric power and services to 18 not-for-profit electricity distribution cooperative owners through central and southern Indiana and south-eastern Illinois. Together, the 18 cooperative members serve more than 760,000 customers.
"This collaboration continues our transition of Hoosier Energy's resource portfolio to a much higher percentage of renewable sources," said President and CEO Donna Walker. "The solar energy developed at Rustic Hills will serve thousands of Hoosiers while continuing to reduce our carbon footprint, benefiting the environment, Hoosier Energy members and all of their member-consumers."
Rustic Hills Solar will occupy approximately 640 acres of private land in Warrick County, Indiana, with construction expected to begin upon receipt of necessary authorization and permits. It is estimated that the project will be commercially operational by the end of 2023.
During the proposed 10-month construction timeline, approximately 300 construction jobs will be created, the statement said.
The facility is anticipated to deliver 120 MWDC of reliable, affordable, and clean energy to Hoosier Energy's members, generating enough power to meet the needs of more than 17,000 homes, Walker added.
This announcement comes on the heels of the US Energy Department's proposed plan for solar energy to provide 45% of the United States' electricity by 2050. It also follows Hoosier Energy’s 2020 decision to retire its only remaining coal-powered generating station by May 2023.
That decision will save its member co-ops more than $700 million over the next decade while also shifting Hoosier Energy's portfolio toward renewable energy generation, the statement said.
"We thank Hoosier Energy for partnering with Clēnera to procure clean energy from Rustic Hills Solar," said Jared McKee, Vice President of Business Development at Clēnera.
"We look forward to the successful completion of this solar project and promoting sustainable environmental and economic stewardship with our partner Hoosier Energy in the state of Indiana,” he concluded.