Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

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I&M Breaks Ground On Michigan Solar Power Plant

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), an operating unit of American Electric

Power (NYSE: AEP), held a groundbreaking ceremony today for its first solar power plant in

Michigan, on a 35-acre site just east of Watervliet.

The Watervliet Solar Power Plant will have more than 50,000 solar panels and generate up to

4.6 megawatts of emission-free energy. The facility is expected to generate energy equivalent

to powering about 650 homes annually.

“I&M is pleased to add solar power to our fleet of emission-free generation sources in Michigan,”

said Paul Chodak III, President and Chief Operating Officer of I&M. “Four decades after our

Cook Nuclear Plant began generating carbon-free energy in Michigan, this solar power plant is

part of a pilot project that will play a significant role in I&M’s use of the sun to provide energy.

I&M already uses wind, water and nuclear energy to generate half of our power, and solar is yet

another emission-free energy source.”

“I&M wishes to thank the Watervliet community for welcoming us,” Chodak said. “Growing solar

energy and harvesting the sun in the same manner that this land was once used to harvest

crops is an innovative use of the property.”

The Watervliet plant is one of four solar power generation plants in I&M’s Clean Energy Solar

Pilot Project. The Deer Creek plant near Marion, Ind., has been operational since late in 2015.

Construction has already begun at the Twin Branch and Olive plants, both in St. Joseph County,

Indiana. All three of the Michiana solar plants will be generating energy for customers by the

end of 2016.

Together, the four plants will have the capacity to generate about 15 megawatts of energy and

have the ability to power the equivalent of 2,000 homes. I&M will build upon the experience in

generating solar energy and plants’ interconnection with the electric grid as the company looks

to build additional solar plants in the future.

I&M contracted with First Solar Inc., a global leader in photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions,

to build the three Michiana area plants.