Burns & McDonnell delivering utility’s first turnkey solar project
EVANSVILLE — After successfully completing the engineering phase earlier this year, Burns & McDonnell will begin the construction of a 50-megawatt (MW) universal solar array in Troy to service electric customers in CenterPoint Energy’s Indiana Electric territory. When combined with the utility’s 4 MWs of solar power already in service, the new solar farm, which is expected to be fully operational in early 2021, will generate enough electricity to power more than 12,000 households per year.
“The Troy solar farm is another important project in the continued evolution of our generation fleet as we add more renewable energy sources to our portfolio,” said Steve Greenley, Senior Vice President, Generation Development for CenterPoint Energy. “Burns & McDonnell has a long history of delivering projects on time and on budget, while working safely. We are collaborating with the firm’s integrated design and construction teams to bring universal solar energy to the southwestern Indiana communities we serve.”
CenterPoint Energy’s newest solar array, which was approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in 2018, will consist of approximately 150,000 solar panels distributed across 300 acres along SR 545 between Troy and New Boston. Each panel will be mounted on a single-axis tracking system, enabling the panels to automatically shift to maximize energy generation as the sun’s rays move across the surface of the Earth. Once the project is substantially completed, Burns & McDonnell will provide commissioning and startup services before the new array goes online in 2021.
“Integrating our construction capabilities into our overall solar delivery offering enables us to leverage our extensive track record of successful utility-scale construction execution across multiple disciplines,” said Chad Cotter, Director of Solar EPC for Burns & McDonnell. “By providing skills and experience, along with dedicated resources, we are streamlining project delivery with parallel engineering, procurement and construction activities. The Troy installation will be among the largest single-sited solar farms in the Tri-State area and will support surrounding communities for decades to come.”
The project is an important step in CenterPoint Energy’s goal to reduce its operational emissions by 70% by 2035. The company’s reduction goal is based on its 2005 emissions. With 4 MW of universal solar already in service in Vanderburgh County, the new installation will expand CenterPoint Energy’s Indiana electric solar production by more than 13 times its current capacity.
Burns & McDonnell is partnering with Indiana-based suppliers and contractors to assist with equipment procurement and on-site labor efforts. As one of the most prominent renewable resources in the state, the Troy installation signifies CenterPoint Energy’s first self-build solar project. CenterPoint Energy’s Indiana electric territory provides electric service to more than 144,000 customers in southwestern Indiana.