On Thursday, Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch joined leaders from utility Duke Energy, the U.S. Department of the Navy (DON) and Naval Support Activity Crane at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the 17 MW solar power plant at NSA Crane, located about 40 miles south of Bloomington, Ind.
“The solar project at Naval Support Activity Crane will serve as a catalyst for future energy infrastructure projects for the Navy, as well as bringing greater energy management to our state, spurring innovation and growth,” said Crouch.
Other notable ceremony presenters included Melody Birmingham-Byrd, president of Duke Energy Indiana; Cmdr. Timothy A. Craddock, commanding officer of NSA Crane; and John Kliem, executive director of the DON’s Resilient Energy Program Office.
“This solar power plant helps provide our customers with a more balanced energy mix using both traditional fuel sources and renewable energy sources,” said Birmingham-Byrd. “We are pleased to partner with the Navy on a project that will deliver clean energy to Indiana customers, and improved energy security for the Navy.”
“With roughly 76,000 solar panels stretched across 145 acres, this solar project is quite an impressive achievement and stands as a monument to our enduring relationship with the state of Indiana and our energy partners,” said Cmdr. Craddock. “Through this endeavor, we are providing and promoting energy sustainability and bringing renewable energy options to the installation and neighboring communities.”
Duke Energy built and will own, operate and maintain the solar facility on NSA Crane. In exchange for providing secure, on-base land needed for the project, NSA Crane will receive in-kind consideration in the form of electrical infrastructure upgrades, such as a motor-operated disconnect switch, and a microgrid feasibility study to increase future base resiliency, according to Duke Energy.