Former farmland in Logansport is now the future site of a solar plant that will power the equivalent of about 3,700 homes.
The plant – which is being developed for Logansport Municipal Utility by Indiana company Inovateus Solar – will also host a bee and butterfly habitat that will benefit agriculture and the surrounding area.
Rob Davis, director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy at the nonprofit Fresh Energy, said the project is a model that can be recreated throughout the state.
“It combines the principal stewardship of conservation with the values of local clean energy,” he said.
The 80-acre, 16-megawatt solar installation will be planted with 70 different vegetation species to promote pollinator habitats.
“The exciting thing here is that it allows you to combine clean energy and agriculture to create a habitat,” said Jordan Richardson, business development manager at Inovateus Solar.
Unlike other solar fields that build the panels atop concrete, the Logansport field will be filled with plants to provide numerous environmental benefits. The plant will also include a sanctuary and rest stop for migrating monarchs.
The $19 million solar project is financed by a power purchase agreement (PPA) and will be completed in 2021, Richardson said.
The 30-year PPA, financed by Alchemy Renewable Energy, allows Logansport Municipal Utility to purchase the clean solar generation at a fixed kilowatt-hour rate with no upfront capital costs. The contract also includes options to buy the solar energy system at a future date.
This project is the first of its kind for Logansport. For more than 120 years, the city relied on a coal-fired power plant. That plant has recently been closed.