Regulated Universal Solar
In 2016, Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M) completed construction of four solar power plants, which are located in Indiana and Michigan and add nearly 15 megawatts of solar energy capacity. The Clean Energy Solar Pilot Project gave us important experience in developing, building and operating universal-scale solar plants.
In 2016, Indiana Michigan Power Company completed construction of four solar power plants, which are located in Indiana and Michigan and add nearly 15 megawatts of solar energy capacity.
Constructing solar generation is new to AEP so we contracted with First Solar Inc., a global leader in photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. The project supports I&M’s long-term resource plan to add 600 MW of solar capacity by 2035 and allows us to evaluate similarites and differences between solar and wind resources.
The Watervliet Solar Power Plant, just east of Watervliet, Mich., has more than 50,000 solar panels that generate up to 4.6 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 650 homes annually. In total, I&M’s four solar plants generate enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes annually.
Providing affordable access to renewable energy was the driver behind I&M’s creation of IM Solar, a program that allows I&M’s Indiana customers to participate in the growth of solar power by subscribing to buy blocks of renewable energy monthly. Subscription proceeds will retire solar Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that I&M’s solar generation creates, going directly toward supporting the solar projects. IM Solar gives our Indiana customers the opportunity to effectively reduce their carbon and environmental footprint in a cost-effective manner.
In January 2017, Appalachian Power Company (APCo) sought to add solar generation to an already robust renewable portfolio. The company issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for universal-scale solar, seeking up to 25 megawatts of solar energy resources. Among the conditions for bidders was that the projects must be located within APCo’s Virginia or West Virginia service territory. Today, APCo is already a leader in renewable energy, producing 1,900 gigawatt-hours of energy annually from wind and hydroelectric power – enough power to supply 150,000 homes in a year. This new project will add solar to the mix.
Locating the solar facilities within our footprint is important to us. APCo’s service territory has been particularly impacted by retirements of coal units that eliminated jobs, disposable income and tax resources in that region. By requiring siting within our service territory, we ensure not only customers receive the benefits from clean energy but also their communities benefit from tax revenues that support public services, such as public safety and education, and the creation of jobs during construction.
In 2016, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) and the University of Tulsa partnered to install 936 solar panels on the roof of the university’s Case Tennis Center. Under the agreement, PSO owns and maintains the 300-kilowatt array of solar panels. The university leases the panels from PSO and uses the energy provided to power the Case Center.
The project marked PSO’s first addition of solar to its resource mix and reflects the company’s continued commitment to renewable energy. PSO already provides more than 20 percent of its capacity from renewable resources. Currently, PSO has more than 1,100 megawatts of wind energy under long-term contracts.