Inovateus is developing the installation for the Logansport Municipal Utility (LMU). Financed by a power purchase agreement (PPA), the solar installation will reduce LMU’s carbon emissions, help to stabilize energy costs for LMU’s customers and also host a bee and butterfly habitat that will benefit agriculture in the surrounding area.
The 16 MW AC project will be built upon 80 acres. With the support of Logansport, LMU and city staff, LMU’s first solar project marks a new milestone for the municipal utility. For over 120 years, the city has relied on an LMU coal-fired power plant that was recently retired. The 30-year PPA, financed by Alchemy Renewable Energy, allows LMU to purchase the clean solar generation at a fixed kilowatt-hour rate with no upfront capital costs. The contract also includes options for LMU to buy the solar energy system at a future date.
“We are proud to work with Inovateus Solar to bring the first solar energy project to Logansport,” says Chris Martin, Mayor of Logansport.
“How exciting to be a part of pioneering this clean, alternative energy source right here in our community that will help curb LMU energy costs for our consumers. The creation of a bee and butterfly habitat will also be a great environmentally friendly addition to the city’s west side,” he adds.
Inovateus is further helping the community by designing a solar education program to engage schools in the Logansport Community School Corp. and launching a college scholarship contest for naming the solar park. To help maintain the neighborhood around the solar park, Inovateus designed a 45-foot vegetation buffer around the solar array. The buffer will feature native Northern Indiana trees, plants and more than 100 tulip trees donated by the community.
After construction is completed Q1 of 2021, Inovateus has partnered with Fresh Energy and the Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund to plant a pollinator seed mix under and around the solar panels instead of traditional ground cover. Planting a pollinator mix will cultivate bees and butterflies that local farmers rely on for pollinating their crops. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s InSPIRE study is actively studying pollinator-friendly and low-impact solar development approaches to quantify the ecosystem and agricultural benefits.
Photo: An artistic rendition of a pollinator sed mix under solar panels