Once completed, the 17MW project will be the second-largest PV plant in Indiana. Image: Duke Energy
Electric power holding company Duke Energy has received approval to develop a 17MW solar power plant at Naval Support Activity Crane — also known as the Crane naval station — located around 40 miles southwest of Bloomington, Indiana.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission signed off on the settlement agreement between Duke Energy and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor to build the installation, which will sit on 58 hectares in the southeast portion of the naval base. It will be the second-largest solar power plant in Indiana, as well as the largest on the Duke Energy Indiana system.
Melody Birmingham-Byrd, president of Duke Energy Indiana, said: "This helps provide our customers with a more balanced energy mix using both traditional fuel sources and renewable energy sources. We are pleased to partner with the Navy on a project that will deliver clean energy to Indiana customers, and improved energy security for the Navy."
Construction will begin in July, with installation set to include 76,000 solar panels. The project is expected to begin feeding solar energy to the grid by early 2017.
The project stands as the second major solar project that Duke Energy is building in partnership with the Department of the Navy. Back in 2015, Duke Energy announced a 13MW plant at Camp Lejeune in Eastern North Carolina.