Research Foundation News

July 11, 2019

Duke Energy to build solar power plant at Discovery Park District near Purdue University

solar panels Duke Energy plans to build a 1.6 megawatt solar power plant in Discovery Park District near Purdue University on the west side of U.S. Highway 52/231. The solar power plant will generate enough electricity to power about 230 average homes at peak production. (Photo provided) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Duke Energy is building a 1.6-megawatt solar power plant in Discovery Park District near Purdue University on the west side of U.S. 52/231.

“We’ll use the clean, renewable energy from this solar plant for our Indiana customers,” said Stan Pinegar, Duke Energy state president for Indiana. . “Discovery Park at Purdue is a hub for innovation in science, technology and engineering, so building this plant there is a natural fit.”

Duke Energy will lease about 10 acres south of the Purdue Technology Center Aerospace building from the Purdue Research Foundation. Duke Energy will build and operate the new ground-mount solar power plant, to be named the Tippecanoe County Solar Power Plant.

“Sustainability has been one of four global advancements Purdue University has been celebrating this year while marking the 150th anniversary of the university’s founding, so this is an optimum time to add a solar facility at the Discovery Park District,” said Jeremy Slater, director of the Discovery Park District. “It’s another key step toward sustainability as we continue to develop the district.”

The solar power plant will generate enough electricity to power about 240 average homes with carbon-free energy. The plant, which will have approximately 7,000 solar panels, and is expected to provide energy for more than 30 years. The new solar power plant will be constructed this summer and is expected to start providing power in late 2019.

Additional Renewable Energy Projects

This project joins the company’s other efforts to promote clean, renewable solar power, including building and operating a 17-megawatt (MW) solar plant at a southern Indiana naval base, purchasing up to 20 MW of solar power from four solar sites that generate up to 5 MW each, and the recently approved 10-MW solar service pilot program.

In addition, Duke Energy is investing in battery storage technology in Indiana in the town of Nabb and at Camp Atterbury, which also includes 2 MW of solar power. The company is also funding $1.5 million in research at the Battery Innovation Center at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center to study how battery storage can maximize renewable power sources.

Other renewable programs include the company’s GoGreen Indiana program, which  gives customers the ability to support the development of green power sources.

And the current upgrade and modernization of the company’s nearly 50-year-old Markland Hydro Station near Florence, Indiana, along the Ohio River, will ensure customers can continue to reap the benefits of low-cost, carbon-free electric generation for years to come.

Duke Energy Indiana

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,600 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier. 

About Discovery Park District

The $1 billion Discovery Park District is a transformational center of innovation on the western edge of the Purdue University campus. The more than 400-acre district offers a thriving, walkable, urban setting that provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with thought leaders, visionaries, researchers and students at Purdue University. The district includes laboratories, advanced manufacturing facilities, offices, retail shops, restaurants, housing, green space and trails. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation and its master planning partner  Browning Investments LLC, the district already includes a public airport with a 7,000-foot runway, and international companies including Rolls-Royce, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Saab. For more information, visit Discovery Park District.

Writer: Tom Coyne, 765-588-1044,

Duke Energy Source: Lew Middleton, 317-838-1505  | 24-Hour: 800-559-3853

Purdue Research Foundation Source: Jeremy Slater, 765-588-1221,

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