KNOX — Governor Eric J. Holcomb and Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers today joined Israeli and local officials, as well as executives from Israel-based Doral Renewables LLC, a developer of renewable energy projects, to break ground on phase one of the company’s three-phase solar farm project, Mammoth Solar, which is expected to deliver a $1.5 billion investment in the company’s Indiana operations over the next five years.
“It’s an incredibly electrifying day for the state of Indiana as we celebrate Doral Renewables’ significant investment in the future of energy generation and the state of Indiana,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Knowing Indiana will continue to play a key role in the global energy sector while creating real change in our Hoosier communities is empowering. It’s encouraging to witness the power industry moving toward reliable, affordable and ever more clean renewable energy sources for generations of Hoosiers to come."
Israel-based Doral Group, which was the first company to energize a commercial solar farm in Israel more than 13 years ago, identified 13,000 acres across Starke and Pulaski counties in Northern Indiana the Mammoth Solar project to bring 1.3 gigawatts of clean energy to the region. The company plans to invest $475 million in phase one of the project, which will produce 400 megawatts of clean energy and is expected to become operational by mid-2023. In addition to providing renewable energy, the project is projected to remove 40,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and conserve 1 billion gallons of irrigation well water annually. Phases two and three, expected to begin during 2022, will produce approximately 900 megawatts of clean energy upon completion and will draw additional investments of approximately $1 billion.
“This project will be a model for solar energy in Indiana and the Midwest as a whole,” said Nick Cohen, CEO of Doral LLC, the US based partner of the Doral Group. “The 400 megawatts of energy produced here during the first phase of the project is enough to power 75,000 Midwestern households and will infuse millions of much-needed dollars into local Indiana communities. We are grateful for the support from Gov. Holcomb and Starke County officials who have established Indiana and the county as one of the most competitive places to invest in renewable energy projects. Support from local landowners and community leaders was also instrumental in making this project happen, and we look forward to working with them for decades to come.”
Doral Renewables is working with AEP Energy Partners Inc., a subsidiary of American Electric Power and one of the largest electric energy wholesale suppliers in the U.S. Mammoth Solar Farm will make a significant contribution to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio, enabling local utilities, commerce and industry to procure power generated in the Midwest that would otherwise be generated in neighboring regions. It will provide opportunities for Midwestern companies to meet renewable targets with the lowest cost of renewable power anywhere. The solar farm, which will generate 1.65 GW dc of clean energy for 175,000 households across Indiana and Illinois.
Doral LLC will support the three-phase project with approximately 500 jobs during the construction period and up to 50 new, full-time jobs once fully operational.
"The impact of the energy harvested from this truly 21st century energy solution will reach far beyond the 312 square miles of Starke County to businesses and residences throughout the country,” said Starke County Commissioner Mark Gourley.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is working with Doral Renewables LLC to finalize a committed investment in the form of incentive-based tax credits based on the company’s plans to create up to 50 new jobs by the end of 2023. Starke and Pulaski Counties are also considering additional incentives.