Vectren announces grid modernization plan, universal solar projects

Published on February 27, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana – South (Vectren) recently announced a seven-year plan to modernize its Indiana electric grid, as well as plans to construct two universal solar projects with a capacity of two megawatts (MW) each.

Vectren plans to spend $500 million over the next seven years on improvement projects that were identified during a risk assessment conducted over the past 18 months. The projects include upgrades to Vectren’s substations, transmission and distribution networks aimed at increasing reliability and preparing the grid for the integration of advanced technology for improving service and providing energy use information.

“Over the next several years, this modernization work will ensure our energy grid is resilient and more capable of meeting the energy demands of our customers for years to come, especially as advancements in energy technology require a smarter grid,” Carl Chapman, Vectren chairman,president and CEO, said. “We developed a long-term asset management plan – from utility pole replacement to rebuilding older, aging circuits to installing digital meters – to ensure our 7,800-mile, 130 substation energy grid continues to reliably deliver power to our customers for years to come.”

One of the recently announced solar projects will be constructed on Highway 41 near North High School in Indiana and will also include one MW of battery storage. The other site is yet to be announced through a partnership with the city of Evansville. Vectren expects that, if approved, the projects will be operational by early 2018.

“The universal solar projects continue our commitment, along with our existing wind farm contracts and landfill gas project, toward a more balanced electric generation mix,” Chapman said. “As announced in November of 2016 with our Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) results, we expect to add more renewable energy and natural gas into our generation fleet in the coming years, and projects like these demonstrate our promise to become a next generation energy company.”