New Kokomo solar park expected to operate in early December

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — A new solar park in Kokomo that will produce 7 megawatts of energy is expected to be operational next month.

South Bend-based Inovateus Solar, which has developed solar-energy facilities in 26 states, is creating the park at the former Continental Steel plant site according to the Kokomo Tribune.

Inovateus Solar senior account executive Austin Williams said the roughly 26-acre park with 21,000 solar panels is expected to begin producing energy in December. But various panels still need to be placed and electrical work, including wiring, needs to be finished in some parts, Williams said.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved a 20-year purchased-power agreement in August between Inovateus Solar and Duke Energy, which will buy the electricity and distribute it on the grid. Duke Energy is the state’s largest electric supplier, with about 810,000 customers.

Williams said the park will operate mostly on its own, and Inovateus will do remote monitoring.

“We looked for areas where there was plenty of power draw, plenty of power load, and energy infrastructure,” he said. “With Kokomo as a high industrial area, that was top of the list to start checking out.”

The former Continental Steel site was previously listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of most dangerous sites due to the high levels of toxic pollutants in the soil, but the EPA spent over $40 million to clean it up.