Duke Energy to Build Solar Power Plant at Discovery Park District Near Purdue University
“We’ll use the clean, renewable energy from this solar plant for our Indiana customers,” said Stan Pinegar, Duke Energy state president for Indiana. “Discovery Park at Purdue is a hub for innovation in science, technology and engineering, so building this plant there is a natural fit.”
Duke Energy will lease about 10 acres south of the Purdue Technology Center Aerospace building from the Purdue Research Foundation. Duke Energy will build and operate the new ground-mount solar power plant, to be named the Tippecanoe County Solar Power Plant.
“Sustainability has been one of four global advancements Purdue University has been celebrating this year while marking the 150th anniversary of the university’s founding, so this is an optimum time to add a solar facility at the Discovery Park District,” said Jeremy Slater, director of the Discovery Park District. “It’s another key step toward sustainability as we continue to develop the district.”
The solar power plant will generate enough electricity annually to power about 240 average homes with carbon-free energy. The plant will have approximately 7,000 solar panels, and is expected to provide energy for more than 30 years. The new solar power plant will be constructed this summer and is expected to start providing power in late 2019.
Additional Renewable Energy Projects
This project joins the company’s other efforts to promote clean, renewable solar power, including building and operating a 17 MW solar plant at a southern Indiana naval base and purchasing up to 20 MW of solar power from four Indiana solar sites. The company also recently rolled out a pilot solar leasing program to make it easier for businesses, schools and nonprofits to have solar energy at their facilities.
In addition, Duke Energy is investing in battery storage technology in Indiana in the town of Nabb and at Camp Atterbury, which also includes 2 MW of solar power. The company is also funding $1.5 million in research at the Battery Innovation Center at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center to study how battery storage can maximize renewable power sources.
Other renewable programs include the company’s GoGreen Indiana program, which gives customers the ability to support the development of green power sources.
And the current upgrade and modernization of the company’s nearly 50-year-old Markland Hydro Station near Florence, Ind., along the Ohio River, will ensure customers can continue to reap the benefits of low-cost, carbon-free electric generation for years to come.