Lake County Solar projects completed in Indiana

Two solar projects, each with a generating capacity of less than 3 MW, have been completed in Lake County, Ind., two firms announced Oct. 16.

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and Bright Plain Renewable Energy, (BPRE) announced the completion of construction of two solar power projects in Lake County, Indiana.

Both 2.7 MW (DC) projects were originally developed by Community Energy Solar (CES) on land owned by Buckeye Partners, and were acquired by an affiliate of DESRI in partnership with BPRE in March 2013.

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) has contracted the project’s electricity output under a long-term renewable power purchase agreement. NIPSCO, with headquarters in Merrillville, Ind., is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource (NYSE: NI).

groSolar, a commercial and utility-scale solar engineering, procurement, and construction firm, acted as the turnkey EPC contractor.

The two facilities will each occupy an 11-acre site located a few miles apart. The sites each have access to the NIPSCO transmission system. Developers had previously put the cost of the project at $21m.

The projects started construction in March of this year and reached commercial operations in August.

Based on emissions estimates by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, these projects will produce enough renewable power to avoid 4,744 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, equivalent to removing over 14,820 cars from Indiana’s roads over the 15-year term of the power purchase agreement.

“The Lake County Solar projects show the possibilities of redeveloping underutilized industrial land and transforming them into energy producing solar facilities,” said Community Energy Solar President Eric Blank.

DESRI is part of the D. E. Shaw Group, a global investment and technology development firm. BPRE was founded in 2011 by industry veterans David Buzby and William Lee as an operating platform to acquire and manage solar projects across North America.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.