$164 million solar farm proposed in St. Joseph County

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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) – There are some serious panel discussions going on in St. Joseph County.

You could set up hundreds of thousands of solar panels on farm land north of the Indiana Enterprise Center near New Carlisle.

A solar farm proposed by RES (Renewable Energy Systems) would cost around $ 164 million to create up to 200 new jobs during construction. Work is scheduled to begin next summer and be completed by the end of 2023.

The plant would generate up to 150 megawatts of electricity per year, seven and a half times more than the Indiana Michigan Power solar farm, which started operations in eastern St. Joseph County earlier this year.

“We have produced energy that has no air emissions, uses very little water, and does not make a lot of noise,” said Anne-Marie Griger, RES permits manager, in a telephone interview with 16 News Now.

When asked if St. Joseph County has enough sunshine to get a project like this up and running, Griger replied, “Well, you know, we are building solar everywhere. You know, Canada also builds solar parks. So solar is not exactly like wind where there are really places that are wind suitable and others that are not. “

According to Griger, RES has already signed leases that cover a 1,900 acre site.

At this point, the project depends on finding a buyer for the electricity produced and negotiating a development agreement with the district government that could include the creation of a new TIF district. “We worked with the county on a financing structure for tax increases,” said Griger. “The idea is not to have any public funding for the project at all. It would all be financed privately.

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