Indiana Michigan Power got approval Thursday to build a large solar farm in St. Joseph County.
The solar farm is expected to generate enough power for 2,700 homes per year. I&M officials said this will be the fifth and largest solar facility they operate.
The facility will have about 60,000 solar panels and cost roughly $30 million to build.
I&M spokesperson Schnee Garrett said this one facility alone will power more homes than their current four facilities combined.
“The new solar facility is going to allow I&M customers and the entire Michiana area to take advantage of local green resources.”
Garrett also said the facility will appeal to new businesses looking for fossil fuel alternatives.
“The solar facility will assist local economic development efforts to help attract businesses that are interested in having those renewable energy options.”
The University of Notre Dame plans to buy 40 percent of the power produced by the facility.
Paul Kempf is the Assistant Vice President of Utilities and Maintenance at Notre Dame. He said this will help with the University’s goal of cutting carbon emissions on campus in half by 2030.
“I think it just fits into a wide array of sustainability projects that we’re doing on campus and have been doing for more than a decade.”
Kempf said the University is one of I&M's biggest customers. The University makes half of its own energy and buys the other half from I&M.
The solar farm will be located south of Indiana Toll Road, near Bittersweet Road.
Construction is set to begin in April and the site is expected to be operating by late Fall.
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