Indiana utility signs long-term PPA on 280-MW solar project

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of NiSource and the Clean Energy Infrastructure (CEI) business of Capital Dynamics, an independent global private asset management firm, signed a long-term Power Purchase Agreement.

Under the terms of the PPA, NIPSCO will purchase 280MW of the power generated by a CEI-owned greenfield solar project called Gibson Solar, one of two projects being developed by CEI in Gibson County, Indiana. Arevon Energy Management and Tenaska are co-developing this project and were instrumental in the signing of the PPA.

“We are proud to partner with Capital Dynamics on the Gibson purchase power agreement,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president. “The addition of this homegrown Indiana solar energy project is the next step in our innovative and gradual transition to lower-cost, cleaner energy for our customers.”

Eight renewable energy projects have previously been announced by NIPSCO, which include a combination of similar purchase power agreements and joint ventures, as part of its customer-centric “Your Energy, Your Future” generation transition plan. The company plans to be coal-free by 2028, adding a combination of cleaner energy sources to its existing portfolio of natural gas and hydroelectric generation.

“We are grateful for the partnership with Northern Indiana Public Service Company on the 280-MWac Gibson solar project,” said Benoit Allehaut, managing director of Capital Dynamics Clean Energy Infrastructure. “This is one of the largest solar projects located east of the Mississippi, and the Gibson project will be an important contributor to the on-going energy transition in Indiana. We applaud Northern Indiana Public Service Company for the long-term commitment and Tenaska and Arevon Energy Management for their support reaching this milestone on our large portfolio in MISO.”

NIPSCO’s generation transition will deliver a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy mix for NIPSCO customers for years to come — saving customers an estimated $4 billion over the long term. It will request the addition of these new projects to its supply portfolio in filings with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The company expects to announce additional renewable projects in the coming months.

The Gibson Solar project is one of 19 projects that Capital Dynamics acquired from Tenaska in November 2018 and April 2019, and is located on approximately 2,400 acres in southern Indiana. The project is currently in the development stage with construction expected to start in 2022 and commercial operation anticipated in 2023.

“Securing a power customer is an important milestone in the development of a solar project, and we are excited that the Gibson project is the next step in NIPSCO’s transition to meet its customers’ future energy needs,” said Steve Johnson, senior VP in Tenaska’s Strategic Development & Acquisitions Group. “The Tenaska Solar Ventures team looks forward to working with Capital Dynamics to complete development and bring this project to fruition.”

News item from Capital Dynamics