EDP Renewables (EDPR), the world’s fourth largest renewable energy producer, through its subsidiary EDP Renewables North America, has completed the construction of the 200 MW Riverstart solar farm. The company closed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hoosier Energy Cooperative, which will use the power generated by the solar farm to supply communities in central and southern Indiana and south-eastern Illinois.
The project, located in Randolph County, is the largest solar farm by capacity in the state of Indiana and generates energy equivalent to the average consumption of more than 36,000 homes per year.
The construction of the park has resulted in the creation of 700 jobs in Randolph County, with a consequent positive impact on the local economy. In addition, several permanent on-site jobs will support the routine operations and maintenance of the solar farm.
EDPR is a leader in renewable energy in Indiana and is the largest wind power producer in the state with 1,200 MW of operating capacity. EDPR NA has wind and solar projects under development and construction throughout the state and, in total, has developed approximately 2,200 MW of renewable energy capacity. Regarding this project, an 80% equity shareholding was sold to Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure at the end of last year.
The company expects to further expand its presence in the country by successfully closing new PPAs that reinforce its low risk profile and its growth strategy based on competitive project development with long-term visibility.
This project reflects EDPR’s commitment to lead the energy transition, an objective that is part of its strategic plan, which includes a capex plan of around 19 billion euros to deploy around 20 GW of renewable energy by 2025.
Riverstart Solar Park: key facts
Riverstart Solar Park is located approximately 80 miles northeast of Indianapolis in eastern Indiana.
Riverstart Solar Park has an installed capacity of 200 megawatts (MW). Riverstart’s generation is equivalent to the consumption of more than 38,000 Indiana homes.
Riverstart Solar Park yields significant economic benefits to the community in the form of payments to landowners, local spending, and annual community investment.
Riverstart represents a capital investment of approximately USD 180 million and will disperse millions in property tax payments to local governments and school districts over the life of the project. The project created approximately 700 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and 5 permanent jobs during the life of the project. Through the project’s lifecycle, millions of dollars will be spent within 50 miles of the solar park.
Riverstart Solar Park saves more than 355 million gallons of water each year and displaces carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants, a major contributor to climate change. Solar energy also enhances air quality by helping to mitigate the health effects of harmful air pollutants.
Riverstart Solar Park is compatible with other land uses and will provide a stable form of income to local landowners. More than USD 54 million will be paid to the solar park’s landowners through the life of the project. These supportive landowners participate in long-term lease agreements.
Riverstart Solar Park consists of thousands of photovoltaic solar panels mounted on a single-axis tracking system for a combined output of 200 MW. Photovoltaic solar cells have no moving parts and convert sunlight directly into electricity via the photoelectric effect. This direct-current electricity is then collected, transformed into alternating-current, and finally enters the electrical grid through a substation after being converted to the proper voltage.