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Energy Company Proposing Solar Farm In Bloomington

solar panels

Photo: flickr (TedofDGAR)

The proposed solar panel farm would be south of downtown Bloomington.

An Indiana company is bidding for a contract with Duke Energy to build a solar farm in Bloomington.

Duke Energy announced earlier this year it was seeking proposals for solar power projects in order to comply with an earlier settlement it made with consumer groups.

Under the settlement, Duke Energy would have to contract 15 megawatts of wind and solar energy—enough to power about 2,500 homes.

The Bloomington proposal from Solar Zentrum could cover up to a third of that.

Solar Zentrum is hoping to use 20 acres of county-owned land on the south side of the city near RCA Community Park for the solar farm.

Monroe County Grants Administrator Ashley Cranor says the property would have to be rezoned before it could be used for solar energy.

“Currently, it’s not zoned for a solar farm,” Cranor said. “I don’t think the city ever foresaw – we sure didn’t – putting in a massive solar farm somewhat south of downtown Bloomington proper.”

The Monroe County Board of Commissioners is endorsing the proposal but cannot give final approval unless Duke Energy approves the project.

Duke will stop taking proposals at the end of this week. Construction on any projects it chooses would not begin until 2015.

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