News, Solar, Utility Integration, Utility Scale

Burns & McDonnell begin construction on 50-MW solar farm in Indiana

Solar Panel with Sunset

Burns & McDonnell announced construction of a 50-MW solar array in Troy, Indiana, to service electric customers in CenterPoint Energy’s Indiana Electric territory.

Combined with the utility’s current 4 MWs of solar power, the new solar farm, which is expected to be fully operational in early 2021, aims to generate enough electricity to power 12,000 households per year.

The solar array, which was approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in 2018, will consist of approximately 150,000 solar panels distributed across 300 acres along Indiana State Road 545 between Troy and New Boston. Each panel will be mounted on a single axis tracking system, enabling the panels to automatically shift to maximize energy generation as the sun’s rays move across the surface of the Earth.

The project reinforces CenterPoint Energy’s goal to reduce its operational emissions by 70 percent by 2035. The company’s reduction goal is based on its 2005 emissions.

With 4 MW of universal solar already in service in Vanderburgh County, the new installation could expand CenterPoint Energy’s Indiana electric solar production by more than 13 times its current capacity.

The Troy installation signifies CenterPoint Energy’s first self-build solar project. CenterPoint Energy’s Indiana electric territory provides electric service to more than 144,000 customers in southwestern Indiana.

Burns & McDonnell is partnering with Indiana-based suppliers and contractors to assist with equipment procurement and on-site labor efforts. The company will also provide commissioning and startup services before the new array goes online in 2021.

“Integrating our construction capabilities into our overall solar delivery offering enables us to leverage our extensive track record of successful utility-scale construction execution across multiple disciplines,” said Chad Cotter, Director of Solar EPC for Burns & McDonnell. “By providing skills and experience, along with dedicated resources, we are streamlining project delivery with parallel engineering, procurement and construction activities. The Troy installation will be among the largest single-sited solar farms in the Tri-State area and will support surrounding communities for decades to come.”