Indiana Michigan Power lights up its latest solar facility

The Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) said Aug. 18 that it is now generating energy at its first Michiana-area solar power plant, doubling the company’s solar capacity.

The Twin Branch Solar Power Plant went online that day. The facility is generating up to 2.6 MW. The Twin Branch plant is located just east of Mishawaka, in an industrial area north of the AM General factory.

“I&M is very proud to enhance the South Bend area with yet another form of carbon-emission free energy,” said Paul Chodak III, President and Chief Operating Officer of I&M. “Adding energy from the Twin Branch Solar plant to our area distribution system is another step toward boosting I&M’s use of renewables.”

Twin Branch is the second of four I&M solar plants to generate energy.

  • The 2.5-MW Deer Creek plant just outside Marion, Ind., went online late in 2015.
  • Construction is ongoing at two additional Michiana solar plants – near New Carlisle, Ind., and Watervliet, Mich., which will begin generating energy later in 2016.

Combined, the four solar plants will have a capacity of nearly 15 MW. The four plants are part of I&M’s Clean Energy Solar Pilot Project. “We know our customers want more renewable energy, and this pilot project will be a strong foundation as we plan more large-scale solar power plants,” Chodak said.

In addition to solar, I&M’s generation portfolio also includes nuclear, hydro, coal and, through power purchase agreements, wind. About 60% of the energy generated by I&M in 2015 came from non-carbon-emitting sources.

Indiana Michigan Power is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,450 employees serve more than 589,000 customers. It operates 2,600 MW of coal-fired generation (the Rockport plant) in Indiana, 2,160 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan (Cook plant) and 22 MW of hydro generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 450 MW of purchased wind generation and, by the end of 2016, approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.