June 5, 2023
Delaware County Announces Two Large Solar Energy Projects — Muncie Journal – Muncie Journal

Delaware County Announces Two Large Solar Energy Projects — Muncie Journal – Muncie Journal

By Keith Roysdon— 

DELAWARE COUNTY, Indiana — Two large solar energy projects announced by Delaware County, Indiana, will help ensure the county will become a growing source of renewable energy.

The two projects, recently approved by Delaware County officials, will generate electric power. The details of the two projects show their impressive scope.

For the Invenergy project Meadow Forge Solar Energy, to be located at 16500 N. County Road 600-West near the town of Gaston, the plan is to generate electricity for a power provider or corporation. The company, in business for 20 years, is based in Chicago.

The other project, for Hawthorn Solar, will be built near Albany and the Muncie Dragway. The project is intended to produce solar energy in a 75 Megawatt Alternating Current facility, built from equipment with a purchase price of $88 million. The company is based in North Carolina.

The total investment for the projects will be among the greatest local industrial investment in years.

Both projects will sell electricity produced by their facilities to utility companies or large users of electric power. The developers chose Delaware County because of abundant resource of solar power, access to the transmission grid and regional demand for power.

Principals for the two projects said Delaware County was an ideal location for them, and county officials and economic development officials were invaluable help in making the projects happen.

“We are excited to be joining the greater Delaware County community as a partner in their continued economic growth,” said Tom Schoder of Invenergy. “The Meadow Forge Solar project will not only generate tens of millions of dollars in reliable tax revenue, but it also reinforces the county’s goals of sustainable development and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to the prospect of breaking ground on Meadow Forge in 2023.”

“We greatly appreciated the availability of county officials and the professionalism by economic development to understand and support our project,” said Ben Friedell of Narenco, the company developing the Hawthorn Solar site.

“We’re very pleased to announce the Invenergy and Hawthorn Solar projects,” said Delaware County Commissioner James King. “These projects will be great additions to the Delaware County tax base and the Delaware County community.”

“Renewable energy is a growing part of our economy,” said Delaware County Commissioner Shannon Henry. “We’re gratified that Invenergy and Narenco recognized Delaware County as a place to make such a substantial investment.”

“Solar energy is a more important part of our future every year,” Delaware County Commissioner Sherry Riggin said. “These projects will greatly enhance Delaware County’s standing in the renewable energy industry, and they will do so with minimal impact on the environment.”

At the Invenergy project near Gaston, the company said it would begin construction on the 350-acre Meadow Forge site “in the next 2-3 years.” Two permanent jobs will be created and 150 temporary jobs during construction.

Solar modules, solar racking equipment, transformers, solar inverters and other components will be purchased for the Meadow Forge project. In addition, a new power substation will be constructed to connect to the electrical grid. The company estimated that 95 percent of the project involves improvements that will be subject to personal property taxes and the remaining five percent will be improvements and facilities subject to real estate property taxes.

The company said the project will not have any adverse environmental impact, and meadow grasses will be planted to aid drainage.

“The key stakeholders in Delaware County, including county officials, have been a pleasure to work with,” Schoder said. “They have a clear understanding of the local economic benefits that a project of this size will bring to Delaware County citizens.”

Hawthorn Solar was incorporated in 2019 and is a subsidiary of National Renewable Energy Corporation (Narenco), which has been in the business of developing solar energy since 2009 and has 400 MW of installed solar capacity in several states. Its headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina.

More than 200 workers will be employed in temporary capacities during construction, Hawthorn Solar said, adding that two to seven people will be hired once the project is complete. The high-end wage range is $80,000 to $100,000 a year and average wages will be about $60,000 a year.

Roughly 150,000 panels will be installed for the Hawthorn Solar project, Friedell said. Construction of the Hawthorn Solar project is expected to begin in 2023.


About Delaware County Economic Development

Dynamic and forward-thinking economic development is the specialty of Delaware County, Indiana. In 2015 the Delaware County Commissioners privatized the County’s economic development activities. Since that time, the County has developed its own business retention and expansion programs that are in constant contact with the multitude of industry within the County.  In addition, efforts to identify and attract various suitable industry throughout the world are undertaken on an annual basis.  For more information, contact Brad Bookout at [email protected].



Source: http://www.munciejournal.com/2021/11/delaware-county-announces-two-large-solar-energy-projects/

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