Duke Energy Indiana to build solar power plant near Purdue University

Published on July 15, 2019 by Chris Galford

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Just south of Purdue University in Indiana, a new venture will soon unfold, as Duke Energy builds a 1.6-megawatt solar power plant across 10 acres of the Discovery Park District.

When complete, Duke Energy estimates it will be able to supply emissions-free energy to around 240 homes annually, thanks to 7,000 solar panels. Construction will soon begin, with operations expected to start later this year.

“We’ll use the clean, renewable energy from this solar plant for our Indiana customers,” Stan Pinegar, Duke Energy state president for Indiana, said. “Discovery Park at Purdue is a hub for innovation in science, technology, and engineering, so building this plant there is a natural fit.”

That space is being leased from the Purdue Research Foundation. Once the new project takes shape, it will be dubbed the Tippecanoe County Solar Power Plant.

“Sustainability has been one of four global advancements Purdue University has been celebrating this year while marking the 150th anniversary of the university’s founding, so this is an optimum time to add a solar facility at the Discovery Park District,” Jeremy Slater, director of the Discovery Park District, said. “It’s another key step toward sustainability as we continue to develop the district.”

In the end, Duke Energy expects the new plant to be in operation for more than 30 years to come. It also fits into larger efforts by Duke Energy in the region to add renewable energy into the fold, from solar power purchases to the construction of a solar plant at an Indiana naval base and investments into battery storage technology.