Logansport’s first solar field approved by Utility Service Board

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Roughly 80 acres on the west edge of Logansport will soon be providing power to the city.

Tuesday night, the Logansport Utility Service Board voted 5-0 to approve a proposal from Innovateus to install solar panels on fields owned by Logansport industrialist Milt Cole and Jim Donato. Much of the property is already inside the city limits, but the additional property involved will be annexed into the city in 2020. State law prevents any annexation in years prior to a decennial Census.

Innovateus, which previously installed solar panels on the former Continental Steel site in Kokomo, is working with three Logansport lenders to secure funding for the project. Its goal is to begin the project before the end of 2019 when the 30 percent solar tax credit is scheduled to expire.

“This project has been in the works for more than a year, and to the credit of the Solar Committee, LMU, the Utility Service Board and Innovateus, it has finally come to fruition,” Mayor Dave Kitchell said Tuesday night. “We anticipate this lowering the cost of electricity LMU pays already through its purchased power agreement with Next Era, and it creates more assessed value and tax base for our city while investing in a local bank and paying dividends to local taxpayers. While this is the first solar project in Logansport history, we don’t anticipate it being the last.”

Plans call for LMU to purchase solar power from Innovateus, with an option to purchase the solar field or terminate the agreement after more than two decades. The utility’s existing agreement with Next Era allows LMU to purchase even more of its power from solar power built in the community.

City officials have been working on plans for solar panel installation at the former Trelleborg site on the northwest side. More environmental remediation below the surface of the land is necessary before solar panels can be installed there. That property is owned by the city.

SOURCE: News release from the Office of Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell