Officials 'flip the switch' on new St. Joseph Solar Farm

NOW: Officials ’flip the switch’ on new St. Joseph Solar Farm

A new 20-megawatt solar farm, the size of 30 football fields, was unveiled in Granger Thursday.

The “St. Joseph Solar Farm,” completed in March of this year, is so big, it can power close to 3,000 homes every year.

State and local officials were on hand and were excited to see the renewable energy site go online.

“It’s incumbent upon us to seek ways in which we can live together, in a healthier, safer, more sustainable, renewable environment. And that’s what that project represents to me,” Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Couch said.

“We want to make St. Joseph County and the city of south bend a place where folks come and want to build projects that will continue to build our renewable energy resources here in the county, St. Joseph County Commissioner Andy Kostielney added.

The solar farm, which is filled with nearly 58,000 solar panels, was developed by Indiana Michigan Power in partnership with the University of Notre Dame.

This is the biggest ever solar project for Notre Dame.

"We have a couple of solar panels on campus, but this plant takes us to a whole new level,” University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins said.

Everyone involved with the project says the commitment to renewable energy is a step in the right direction for Michiana, and the impact of it will be immediate. Experts predict this will cut down on 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions locally during the first year of operation.

In addition to helping power homes in St Joseph County, Notre Dame will use this space to help cut down its own carbon footprint, as well as foster educational opportunities and research benefits for students.

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