FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The largest of Indiana Michigan Power’s first four solar power plants is now generating energy – bringing I&M’s total solar generation capacity above 10 megawatts.
I&M, an operating unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), is now generating up to 5 megawatts of energy at its Olive Solar Power Plant, just east of New Carlisle. The plant will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 700 homes annually. The Olive solar plant covers 40 acres and includes 57,500 solar panels.
The Olive Solar Power Plant is the third of I&M’s four initial solar power plants plant to generate energy. The 2.6-megawatt Twin Branch Solar Power Plant, east of Mishawaka, went online just two weeks ago, and the 2.5-megawatt Deer Creek plant outside Marion, Ind., went online late in 2015.
Combined, the three plants are generating energy equivalent to power more than 1,400 homes annually.
A fourth plant, in Watervliet, Mich., will begin generating solar energy later in 2016.
“I&M’s move into solar power generation has been smooth and relatively quick, with completion of three solar generating plants coming less than 19 months after the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved our proposal for solar,” said Paul Chodak III, President and Chief Operating Officer of I&M.
In addition to solar, I&M’s generation portfolio also includes nuclear, hydro, coal and, through power purchase agreements, wind. About 60 percent of the energy generated by I&M in 2015 came from non-carbon-emitting sources.
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) 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 in Indiana, 2,160 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan 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.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to nearly 5.4 million customers through 223,000 miles of distribution lines in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 32,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.