A cool new venture, Hoosier Solar Holdings LLC, is developing solar power facilities in economically distressed, rural communities across Indiana that have been designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones. Several solar and battery storage projects that collectively have the potential to generate over 1,600 MW (enough to power 285,000 homes), are currently in active development. Many of these projects are expected to be operational by 2023, boosting Indiana’s standing as a clean energy and technology hub.
“Indiana has a unique opportunity to take advantage of solar power and battery storage technology to deliver reliable, low-cost power to serve the needs of residential and industrial customers,” said Paul Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of Energy Systems Network, an Indianapolis-based partner of Hoosier Solar. “Importantly, we can attract investment capital to support development in economically distressed rural communities that have been designated as Opportunity Zones by Governor Eric Holcomb.”
Indiana’s 156 Opportunity Zones, in 58 counties across the state, provide federal capital gains tax advantages in order to attract investments in economically distressed urban and rural communities.
Hoosier Solar is an Indiana-based solar development company whose partners have decades of experience in energy development, financing, and economic development. It selected South Bend, Indiana-based Inovateus Solar as the provider of engineering, procurement, and construction services, and Inovateus is leading Hoosier Solar’s engagement with landowners across Indiana.
“As multi-generational Hoosiers, we are thrilled to bring our deep experience in Indiana to this exciting initiative,” said T.J. Kanczuzewski, Chief Executive Officer of Inovateus Solar. “Hoosiers have deep ties to the land and we look forward to working with community leaders to encourage rural economic development while delivering competitively priced, reliable power.”
Hoosier Solar intends to use an Indiana-based workforce comprised of Hoosier businesses, utilizing Indiana’s strong manufacturing sector by purchasing finished equipment and raw materials from Indiana-based suppliers. Hoosier Solar also plans to involve local school groups and universities to provide job training and research opportunities for Indiana students.
“Indiana has remarkable resources for solar power,” said Carl Weatherley-White, Chief Executive Officer of Hoosier Solar, and Managing Director of Advantage Capital. “With deep agricultural roots, Hoosiers want to preserve productive land for multiple generations, and solar projects provide farmers with long-term, steady income that is neither seasonal nor dependent on weather or crop pricing. During the period that the land is not actively farmed, it can regenerate for future generations.”