Northern Indiana Public Service Co. has started work on two new solar farms in northwest Indiana that it says will generate a combined 465 megawatts of power when they come online next year.
The new projects for the Merrillville-based utility, a subsidiary of NiSource, come as NIPSCO aims to retire all of its coal-fired generation by 2028 and generate more electricity from renewable energy sources.
NIPSCO is partnering with EDP Renewables North America to build Indiana Crossroads Solar, a 200-megawatt solar farm in White County. That project is expected to produce $40 million in local taxes and pay $1 million a year to landowners, according to the utility company.
NextEra Energy Resources LLC is building the other new solar farm in Jasper County. To be called Dunns Bridge Solar I, that 265-megawatt installation will feature about 900,000 solar panels that will generate enough electricity to power 79,5000 homes.
A planned second phase, Dunns Bridge Solar II, will add 435 megawatts of solar with 1.5 million solar panels and 75 megawatts of battery storage and is expected to come online in 2023.
NextEra Energy Resources will sell both installations to NIPSCO once construction is finished.
NIPSCO has built two wind farms and has 10 other renewable projects in the works. The utility says it expects to finish 14 renewable energy projects by 2023.