RICHMOND – Progress on a solar farm containing nearly 27,000 solar panels is well underway, with plans for the energy produced there to contribute directly to the local electrical grid once the project is complete.
The Indiana Municipal Power Agency site, situated between Interstate 70 and the Indiana-Ohio state line, is part of an ongoing initiative by a group overseeing Richmond Power & Light, to expand solar energy and its practical applications throughout the state. The farm sits on about 51 acres of land formerly belonging to New Creations, which shuttered in mid-2016.
The project has been in development for nearly a year and recently saw the installation of the last of the 26,712 solar panels planned for the site. What remains is the electrical work, which will connect the panels to a series of converters, circuit breakers and transformers, and ultimately to the RP&L system.
Brandt Construction superintendent Pat Yeoman, who's been involved in more than a dozen solar projects for IMPA over the past several years, said once all the panels are hooked into the system, the site will be ready for operation.
The panels as a whole can theoretically produce about 9.7 megawatts of energy per day, though Yeoman said that number will likely be closer to about 7 to 8 megawatts due to energy lost in the conversion process.