CenterPoint Energy’s Indiana-based electric and natural gas business, CenterPoint Energy Indiana South, has filed a request for approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to enter into two PPAs for an additional 335 MWs of solar energy as part of the company’s long-term electric generation transition plan.
The request is for approval to purchase 185 MWs of solar power under a 15-year PPA from Oriden, which is developing a solar project in Vermillion County, Ind., and 150 MWs of solar power under a 20-year PPA from Origis Energy, which is developing a solar project in Knox County, Ind. Both solar arrays are expected to be completed and running by 2023, with subject to necessary approvals. The 335 MWs produced from these projects is anticipated to meet the power needs of over 70,000 homes or 12,000 commercial customers per year.
“These additional renewable resources would serve our local electric customers, providing a cost-effective, stable energy option,” said Steve Greenley, Senior Vice President, Indiana Electric Operations for CenterPoint Energy. “We look forward to partnering with Oriden and Origis Energy as they bring these projects to fruition.”
CenterPoint is awaiting an order on two other components of its electric generation transition plan. In February 2021, the company filed a request with the IURC seeking approval to acquire a 300 MW solar array and an additional 100 MW PPA. In June, the company filed a request for approval to construct two natural gas combustion turbines to replace portions of its existing coal-fired generation fleet.
“Oriden is proud to support CenterPoint Energy’s efforts to diversify their electric generation portfolio and contribute to the future of cleaner energy for its customers,” said Masahiro Ogiso, President and CEO of Oriden. “It really takes a team effort with our stakeholders to develop a successful renewable energy project like this. We would like to thank the leadership team at the Vermillion Rise Mega Park and our partners in Vermillion County for supporting this important initiative.”
These PPAs represent the next step of the company’s Smart Energy Future Plan to meet stakeholder sustainability goals as well as implement a cost-effective, well-balanced energy mix for its 145,000 customers in southwest Indiana as outlined in last summer’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). In June 2020, CenterPoint Energy presented the IRP results, which illustrated a preferred portfolio including nearly two-thirds of energy generated from renewable resources and includes flexible generation to meet seasonal peak loads. The portfolio seeks to maintain continued reliability, while saving electric customers an estimated $320 million over the 20-year planning period.
Johan Vanhee, Chief Commercial and Procurement Officer with Origis Energy said, “We thank CenterPoint Energy for partnering with Origis Energy to acquire clean power from our solar project in Knox County. We look forward to the completion of the project to assist CenterPoint Energy in meeting the future energy needs of its southwestern Indiana electric customers.”
Greenley added, “The additional energy obtained through the power purchase agreements will further CenterPoint Energy’s Smart Energy Future strategy. We’re pleased to be working with trusted developers in pursuit of continued renewable generation to support the communities we serve.”
CenterPoint Energy delivers electricity to approximately 145,000 customers in southwest Indiana in all or portions of Gibson, Dubois, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. Programs and services are operated under the brand CenterPoint Energy by Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company d/b/a CenterPoint Energy Indiana South.
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