Duke Energy approved to build 17 MW solar power plant at naval station

San Diego Gas & Electric

More renewable solar energy will soon flow to Duke Energy Indiana customers with the construction of a new 17 MW solar power plant at Naval Support Activity Crane, also known as the Crane naval station, located about 40 miles southwest of Bloomington, Ind.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved a settlement agreement between the company and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor to build the solar plant, which will sit on roughly 145 acres in the southeast portion of the naval base. It will be the second-largest solar power plant in the state, and the largest on the Duke Energy Indiana system.

"This helps provide our customers with a more balanced energy mix using both traditional fuel sources and renewable energy sources," said Melody Birmingham-Byrd, president of Duke Energy Indiana. "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 activity will begin this month, with installation of about 76,000 solar panels. The power plant is expected to start sending solar energy to the grid by early 2017.

The project marks the second major solar project that Duke Energy is building in partnership with the Department of the Navy. The company announced in 2015 a 13 MW solar plant at Camp Lejeune in Eastern North Carolina, which is now operational.

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