$128M solar project could come to Pike County

$128M solar project could come to Pike County

PIKE Co., Ind. (WFIE) - According to economic development leaders, a $128 million solar project could be coming to Pike County.

“Well at the end of last year, IPNL, our largest employer was reassessed, and so the net assessed value of IPNL lost 94 million, this project alone will replace a third of that accessed value,” said Executive Director of Economic Development Corporation Ashley Willis.

Project leaders Capital Dynamics and Tenaska say they chose this area because they’ve been working on a portfolio of solar projects across the Midwest.

“It will benefit the community, to pay for those necessary needs that we need in the community,” said Willis. “Those support systems that we need with EMS, fire departments, the schools.”

According to Tenaska, it would be a 150-megawatt solar field that would bring construction jobs, tax revenue, landowner lease payments and other economic benefits to the county.

“The project would have 350 construction jobs if it moves forward, and a handful of jobs once construction is complete,” said Willis. “And those average wages would be about $70,000 a year.”

Tenaska says that if this project passes, it would possibly be located in Jefferson Township, in the vicinity of North County Road 500 East and East County Road 675 North.

“It should drive especially during the construction phase, a million dollars per year in just the money that will be spent here,” said Willis.

Pike County Economic Development Corporation says this is supposed to be presented to the Pike County Council on July 14. There will be a public hearing during the meeting so people can comment if they’d like to.

“What is the key economic benefit to our residents of Pike County, is the tax rates, through the life of this project, 35 years, the tax rate should decrease by 18 cents,” said Willis.

The project has an economic development agreement, decommissioning agreement, and road use agreement - all of which will be presented to the county commissioners for their approval.

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