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Speedway Solar project to proceed under local control

STAFF REPORT

The $175 million Speedway Solar project achieved another milestone this month when the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) entered an order declining to take jurisdiction over Speedway Solar’s proposed 199-megawatt solar farm in northeastern Shelby County, finding that the public interest is served by a declination of jurisdiction.

This has been a common decision for other independent power producers, but it marks the first time the IURC has issued the order for a large-scale project in Indiana.

Speedway Solar is a development of Ranger Power, a leading developer of utility-scale solar projects focused in the Midwest.

The IURC issued the order earlier this month after thoroughly reviewing the project, the project owner, and the local regulation of the project. In its order, the IURC concluded, in part, that the project “... should be beneficial for those public utilities that may indirectly have access to the power produced and to the State of Indiana. We further conclude that the Commission’s declining to exercise jurisdiction over Petitioner will promote energy utility efficiency. Moreover, Petitioner has demonstrated that is has the technical, financial, and managerial capability to construct and operate the proposed Facility. It has also shown that the wholesale market for electricity in Indiana will benefit from the addition of the generating capacity.”

“We are pleased to reach this milestone with the project,” Ranger Power CEO Adam Cohen said in a media release. “We are focused on bringing this significant investment in clean energy to Shelby County and Indiana. We continue to work with local officials and our landowner partners as we prepare for design and construction.”

Part of the IURC’s reasoning in issuing the declination was because the project is not selling the electric power to the general public. Instead, the approximately 1,000-acre Speedway Solar project will sell the power to Wabash Valley Power Alliance, which provides power generation for 19 rural electric cooperatives across 50 Indiana counties in central and northern Indiana.

The latest decision is one of the final approvals Speedway Solar is seeking to bring the project to Shelby County. Construction of the solar development will begin in 2021 or 2022 and the project will be online in 2023.