Hoosier Solar Holdings said last week that it is developing solar power facilities in economically distressed, rural communities across Indiana that have been designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones.
Several solar and battery storage projects that collectively have a potential capcity of more than 1,600 megawatts (1.6 GW) are currently in active development, said the company. Many of these projects are expected to be operational by 2023.
Indiana’s 156 Opportunity Zones, in 58 counties across the state, provide federal capital gains tax advantages to attract investments in economically distressed urban and rural communities.
“Indiana has a unique opportunity to take advantage of solar power and battery storage technology to deliver reliable, low-cost power to serve the needs of residential and industrial customers,” said Paul Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of Energy Systems Network, an Indianapolis-based partner of Hoosier Solar. “Importantly, we can attract investment capital to support development in economically distressed rural communities that have been designated as Opportunity Zones by Governor Eric Holcomb.”
Hoosier Solar selected South Bend, Indiana-based Inovateus Solar as the provider of engineering, procurement, and construction services, and Inovateus is leading Hoosier Solar’s engagement with landowners across Indiana.
“As multi-generational Hoosiers, we are thrilled to bring our deep experience in Indiana to this exciting initiative,” said T.J. Kanczuzewski, Chief Executive Officer of Inovateus Solar. “Hoosiers have deep ties to the land and we look forward to working with community leaders to encourage rural economic development while delivering competitively priced, reliable power.”
Hoosier Solar intends to use an Indiana-based workforce comprised of Hoosier businesses, utilizing Indiana’s strong manufacturing sector by purchasing finished equipment and raw materials from Indiana-based suppliers. Hoosier Solar also plans to involve local school groups and universities to provide job training and research opportunities for Indiana students.
Hoosier Solar is a solar development company whose partners have decades of experience in energy development, financing, and economic development. Hoosier Solar will help meet the increasing demand for renewable energy by Indiana’s municipal and regulated utilities, as well as Indiana’s unique access to wholesale energy buyers across Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) as well as the Mid-Atlantic region through the PJM regional interconnection organization.
“Indiana has remarkable resources for solar power,” said Carl Weatherley-White, Chief Executive Officer of Hoosier Solar, and Managing Director of Advantage Capital. “With deep agricultural roots, Hoosiers want to preserve productive land for multiple generations, and solar projects provide farmers with long-term, steady income that is neither seasonal nor dependent on weather or crop pricing. During the period that the land is not actively farmed, it can regenerate for future generations.”