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NIPSCO Advances Its Cost-Saving Electric Generation Transition Plan with Groundbreaking of First Two Solar Projects

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  • NI
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  • NIMC

Projects will bring an additional 465 MW of renewable energy, tax revenue benefits and jobs to Indiana

MERRILLVILLE, Ind., Nov. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), today announced that its first two Indiana-based solar projects – Indiana Crossroads Solar and Dunns Bridge Solar I – have broken ground and are currently under construction, expected to be online and operating in 2022.

NIPSCO logo (PRNewsfoto/NIPSCO)
NIPSCO logo (PRNewsfoto/NIPSCO)

"Breaking ground on our first two solar projects is a critical next step in the evolution of our 'Your Energy, Your Future' electric generation transition plan," said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO President. "We're proud to be investing in our state and local economies with these two Indiana projects designed to generate lower-cost, sustainable energy."

Dunns Bridge Solar I is a 265 megawatt (MW) facility located in Jasper County, Ind. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, is constructing the project. Dunns Bridge Solar I will include an estimated 900,000 solar panels, is expected to be operational in 2022 and will be capable of producing enough energy to power 79,500 homes. The second phase of the project, Dunns Bridge Solar II, which will also be constructed by NextEra Energy Resources, will have 435 MW of solar paired with 75 MW of battery storage. Dunns Bridge Solar II will include an estimated 1,500,000 solar panels and is expected to be operational in 2023. NextEra Energy Resources will sell both completed projects to NIPSCO.

"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with NextEra Energy Resources and NIPSCO to deliver one of the largest solar investments in the nation, right here in Jasper County, Indiana," said Stephen Eastridge, Jasper County Economic Development Director. "Dunns Bridge Solar will provide a sustainable future for Jasper County, by injecting much-needed tax base and jobs, both construction and permanent, into our local economy."

Dunns Bridge Solar I & II are expected to generate approximately $59 million in additional tax revenue for Jasper County over the life of the projects and approximately 300 jobs during construction. This project was originally developed by Orion Wind Resources LLC, a joint venture between Orion Renewable Energy Group LLC and MAP® Energy. Learn more about Dunns Bridge Solar I & II at www.DunnsBridgeSolar.com.

Indiana Crossroads Solar is a 200 MW solar farm located in White County, Ind. EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA) is developing and constructing the project. The solar park will be a joint venture between NIPSCO and EDPR.

Indiana Crossroads Solar will disburse more than $1 million each year to landowners and more than $40 million in local government payments over the life of the project. The project will also support hundreds of jobs during the solar park's construction and several full-time, permanent jobs to maintain and operate the project.

"Indiana Crossroads Solar Park is the fourth project EDPR NA and NIPSCO have collaborated on, and we are pleased to expand our partnership with NIPSCO and our presence in the Hoosier State," said Miguel Prado, EDP Renewables North America CEO. "White County has long embraced renewable energy projects, and the addition of the Indiana Crossroads Solar Park will mean even more economic and environmental benefits for the local community."

These solar projects were selected through a Request for Proposal (RFP) solicitation in 2019 that NIPSCO conducted as part of its "Your Energy, Your Future" electric generation strategy.

The company plans to be 100 percent coal-free by 2028 by retiring its coal-fired generation and adding a combination of cleaner energy sources to its existing portfolio*, which includes wind, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. This generation transition helps deliver a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy mix for NIPSCO customers for years to come – saving customers $4 billion over the long term.

With these two solar projects, two completed wind farms and 10 more renewable projects planned or under construction, NIPSCO will have a total of 14 completed renewable projects by the end of 2023. These projects include a combination of similar joint venture agreements and power purchase agreements.

Current Project Profile List

These projects were selected following a comprehensive review of bids submitted through the all-source RFP process that NIPSCO conducted in 2018 and again in late 2019 – which continues to affirm the conclusions of the 2018 NIPSCO IRP, that wind and solar resources were shown to be lower-cost options for customers compared to other energy resource options. Projects are listed with projected in-service dates.

  • Rosewater Wind Farm – 102 MW of wind, located in White County, Ind. (Complete)

  • Jordan Creek Wind – 400 MW of wind, located in Benton and Warren counties, Ind. (Complete)

  • Indiana Crossroads I Wind – 300 MW of wind, located in White County, Ind. (2021)

  • Dunns Bridge Solar I – 265 MW of solar, located in Jasper County, Ind. (2022)

  • Indiana Crossroads Solar – 200 MW of solar, located in White County, Ind. (2022)

  • Brickyard Solar – 200 MW of solar, located in Boone County, Ind. (2022)

  • Greensboro Solar – 100 MW of solar and 30 MW of battery storage, located in Henry County, Ind. (2022)

  • Green River Solar – 200 MW of solar, located in Breckinridge and Meade counties, Ky. (2023)

  • Dunns Bridge Solar II – 435 MW of solar and 75 MW of battery storage, located in Jasper County, Ind. (2023)

  • Cavalry Solar – 200 MW of solar and 60 MW of battery storage, located in White County, Ind. (2023)

  • Gibson Solar – 280 MW of solar, located in Gibson County, Ind. (2023)

  • Fairbanks Solar – 250 MW of solar, located in Sullivan County, Ind. (2023)

  • Indiana Crossroads II Wind – 204 MW of wind, located in White County, Ind. (2023)

  • Elliot Solar – 200 MW of solar, located in Gibson County, Ind. (2023)

These projects have been approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).

NIPSCO is currently finalizing its 2021 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) – a regulatory process used in Indiana and other states to thoroughly analyze and outline how electric utilities plan to serve customers' energy needs in the future. The process includes multiple public forums involving participation and input from customers, consumer representatives, environmental organizations and other stakeholders that will extend through October, when the plan will be submitted to the IURC.

Learn about NIPSCO's "Your Energy, Your Future" plans and the latest information at NIPSCO.com/future.

*NIPSCO may sell in the future and has previously sold the Renewable Energy Credits from this generation to a third party because this helps keep our energy more affordable for our customers.

About NIPSCO
Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), with headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, has proudly served the energy needs of northern Indiana for more than 100 years. As Indiana's largest natural gas distribution company and the second-largest electric distribution company, NIPSCO serves approximately 850,000 natural gas and 480,000 electric customers across 32 counties. NIPSCO is part of NiSource's (NYSE: NI) six regulated utility companies. NiSource is one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.7 million natural gas and electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. More information about NIPSCO and NiSource is available at NIPSCO.com and NiSource.com.

About NiSource
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.2 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across six states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. Based in Merrillville, Indiana, NiSource's approximately 7,500 employees are focused on safely delivering reliable and affordable energy to our customers and communities we serve. NiSource is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability - North America Index. Additional information about NiSource, its investments in modern infrastructure and systems, its commitments and its local brands can be found at www.nisource.com. Follow us at www.facebook.com/nisource, www.linkedin.com/company/nisource or www.twitter.com/nisourceinc. NI-F

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws. Investors and prospective investors should understand that many factors govern whether any forward-looking statement contained herein will be or can be realized. Any one of those factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning our plans, strategies, objectives, expected performance, expenditures, recovery of expenditures through rates, stated on either a consolidated or segment basis, and any and all underlying assumptions and other statements that are other than statements of historical fact. All forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that management believes to be reasonable; however, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, forecasts, estimates and expectations discussed in this press release include among other things, our debt obligations; any changes to our credit rating or the credit rating of certain of our subsidiaries; our ability to execute our growth strategy; changes in general economic, capital and commodity market conditions; pension funding obligations; economic regulation and the impact of regulatory rate reviews; our ability to obtain expected financial or regulatory outcomes; our ability to adapt to, and manage costs related to, advances in technology; any changes in our assumptions regarding the financial implications of the Greater Lawrence Incident; compliance with the agreements entered into with the U.S. Attorney's Office to settle the U.S. Attorney's Office's investigation relating to the Greater Lawrence Incident; potential incidents and other operating risks associated with our business; continuing and potential future impacts of from the COVID-19 pandemic ; our ability to obtain sufficient insurance coverage and whether such coverage will protect us against significant losses; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings, investigations, incidents, claims and litigation; any damage to our reputation, including in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident; compliance with applicable laws, regulations and tariffs; compliance with environmental laws and the costs of associated liabilities; fluctuations in demand from residential, commercial and industrial customers; economic conditions of certain industries; the success of NIPSCO's electric generation strategy; the price of energy commodities and related transportation costs; the reliability of customers and suppliers to fulfill their payment and contractual obligations; potential impairments of goodwill or definite-lived intangible assets; changes in taxation and accounting principles; the impact of an aging infrastructure; the impact of climate change; potential cyber-attacks; construction risks and natural gas costs and supply risks; extreme weather conditions; the attraction and retention of a qualified workforce; the ability of our subsidiaries to generate cash; our ability to manage new initiatives and organizational changes; the performance of third-party suppliers and service providers; changes in the method for determining LIBOR and the potential replacement of the LIBOR benchmark interest rate; and other matters in the "Risk Factors" section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, as updated in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 and our subsequent SEC filings. In addition, the relative contributions to profitability by each business segment, and the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements relating thereto, may change over time. A credit rating is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities, and may be subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating organization. In addition, dividends are subject to board approval.

All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. We undertake no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any such obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or changes to the future results over time or otherwise, except as required by law.

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