MAMMOTH SOLAR- INDIANA
Mammoth solar is one of the largest solar projects in the US. Spreads over 13,000 acres in Northwest Indiana, Mammoth Solar is expected to generate enough energy to power 275,000 households annually. Due to its size, Mammoth Solar will be developed in three stages.
The Mammoth Solar project is one of the country’s largest solar farms and spreads over 13,000 acres across Starke and Pulaski Counties in Northwest Indiana, equal to the size of 1,000 football fields. The project will generate approximately 1.6GWdc of clean energy to 275,000 households in the Midwest, annually. The projects will include an economic investment of approximately $1.5 billion and comprise of three phases- Mammoth North (Phase One, generation capacity of 360MWdc), Mammoth South (Phase Two, generation capacity of 480 MWdc), and Mammoth Central (Phase Three, generation capacity of 720 MWdc). Mammoth North and Mammoth South already have Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) signed with utilities giant American Electric Power.
Mammoth Solar Farm will make a significant contribution to the Nation’s renewable energy portfolio, enabling local utilities, commerce and industry to procure power generated in the Midwest that would otherwise be generated in neighboring regions. It serves as a good incentive for modern companies, such as data centers and advanced manufacturers, to bring jobs to the Midwest. It also provides a unique opportunity for Midwestern companies to meet their renewables targets with the lowest cost renewable power anywhere.
“It’s a bright spot in our future. The economic benefit for the County is really needed. The timing is perfect. We are glad to be a part of it.”
– Jim and Sheila Buczek, Landowners
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PORTFOLIO STANDARDS
Federal alternative energy tax incentives for large investment intuitions has spurred solar development investment in rural communities. More solar facilities are needed to meet the renewables targets both now and in the future. Policy, consumers, and industry in the United States are pushing to transform the energy mix to a lower cost more modernized system. Many companies and utilities are seeking renewable energy. These stakeholders set goals for renewable energy adoption. Companies often stake their decisions to locate in the region based on the available renewable energy supply.
DECADES OF PROVEN OPERATION
Tens of millions of solar panels, operating hundreds of millions of hours, have been installed across the United States and the world over the past 30 years. The efficiency of panels and inverters (something that converts the electricity into the standard that comes out of our electrical sockets) has improved five-fold over the past several years and the costs have plummeted. Large-scale solar energy farms are now one of the lowest cost electricity sources and Mammoth is expected to be the lowest.
- Over $200 million in construction workforce investment
- More than $50 million in contracts will be awarded to local vendors during the construction period
- Upwards of $10 million in contracts awarded to local and regional vendors during the operating lifetime of the project
- Over 800 local jobs during the construction period. Approximately 40 local jobs after construction, in addition to jobs from the numerous vendors that will support the project during its lifetime.
Health and Environmental benefits
- Safe to surrounding agricultural and wildlife habitats – projects must conduct environmental and feasibility studies prior to construction, to ensure compliance with local, state and federal environmental regulations.
- Crystalline silicon solar panels are made with an aluminum frame, tempered glass, and the remainder is made of common plastics. The materials are commonly found and used in everyday building materials. They can be recovered and recycled at the end of their life. Solar cells are made from silicon1.
- The panels for this project are safe and are required to pass the EPA’s Toxic Leaching Characteristic Procedure (TLCP) test which certifies that panels are nonhazardous. The materials used are found in common electronic equipment and are contained and encased, therefore avoiding risk to public health and water supply.
- Solar projects use little to no water for operation, providing benefits to other agricultural fields in the region2. The project will result in 15 billion fewer gallons of water being taken from the water table over 30 years. At present, annual soil loss from crop production is around 3.1 tons per acre, caused by water and wind erosion. Due to minimal water use, this solar project will avoid around 418,500 tons of topsoil erosion, over the contract period.
 Health and Safety Impacts of Solar Photovoltaics. (2017). NC Clean Energy Technology Center. Retrieved August 11, 2020, from https://s3.amazonaws.com/ncsolarcen-prod/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Health-and-Safety-Impacts-of-Solar-Photovoltaics-2017_white-paper-1.pdf .
 DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (2016, May 18). Environmental and public health benefits of solar power tallied. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 11, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160518165257.htm
- No negative impact on property values; all residences are over 100 feet from any potential panel array.
- A study that evaluated nine existing solar farms in Illinois and Indiana and home sales in the surrounding areas, compared to other home sales in the same county but away from solar arrays showed “no consistent negative impact has occurred to adjacent property that could be attributed to proximity to the adjacent solar farm.”1
- The electrons from solar energy are distributed in the grid, and while specific electrons are impossible to trace, the electricity is usually consumed in the market in which it is generated so most of the electrons will end up serving local residents.
- The extra revenue generated from a solar farm for local municipalities and counties will reduce the pressure on the tax base and will enable the revenue to be used to improve schools, roads and other property-value enhancing attributes.
 McGarr, Patricia (2018). Adjacent Property Value Solar Impact Study: A Study of Nine Existing Farms. Nexia International.
- A decommissioning plan and bond is required to be submitted as part of the permitting application, to ensure preservation and restoration of land.
- Panels, racking and support structures, cabling and ancillary equipment can be easily removed from properties and the land immediately returned to agricultural uses.
- Solar panels can be reused or refurbished to have a ‘second life’ at generating electricity. The panels, which are made of glass, aluminum, silver, copper and other semiconductor materials – common materials – can be recovered and recycled by weight, very easily1. Solar manufacturers have a buy-back recycling program.
 Solar Energy Industries Association (2019). End-of-Life Considerations for Solar Photovoltaics [fact sheet]. https://www.seia.org/sites/default/files/2020-01/SEIA-EOL-Considerations-PV-Factsheet-May2019.pdf