Indiana Michigan Power plans to start producing solar energy. The announcement was made Tuesday.
The Fort Wayne-based company already generates three other sources of emission-free power. About one third of their total production comes from nuclear, with a bit more from wind and hydro.
I&M plans to start a pilot program for solar production, constructing five solar facilities – enough to power over 2,500 homes.
Although the project will not create a large amount of energy, spokesman Tracy Warner says it will give staff experience with the technology, and potentially make the company poised to create more solar power in the future.
Warner also says as technology and regulations evolve, it’s a smart move to be able to draw on different sources of energy.
“Any kind of technology gets better and smaller and the price comes down," says Warner. "And we thought that it achieved the economics now for us to go ahead and do this pilot project.”
Warner says the increase in cost to customers will be neglegable.
The solar plan still needs approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
The estimated cost of the project is $38 million, and construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2016.