UNITED STATES

Honeysuckle Solar construction update

As of  January 2024

Construction is underway at the 188MW Honeysuckle Solar farm in St. Joseph County, Indiana, located east of the town of New Carlisle. The project entered construction in spring 2023. The project is expected to finish construction in mid-2024.

See below for the latest update on project construction. We understand that construction can be disruptive to the community, and we’re working to minimize disruption. With questions, comments or concerns, please reach out to USCommunityRelations@lightsourcebp.com or fill out the form below.

 

Equipment and installation

Our construction crew is hard at work installing new infrastructure for Indiana’s energy security and independence. When complete, the solar arrays, inverters, transformers, substation and other equipment at Honeysuckle Solar will generate home-grown electricity for Indiana homes and businesses.

Our latest update:

  • More than 360,000 solar panels from U.S.-based manufacturer First Solar installed. Solar panel installation should be completed this year, with a total of 406,000 panels.
  • Post driving is complete.
  • Major work on the substation is complete.
  • Construction on the switchyard is ongoing, to be completed in this next few months.
  • All 43 inverters and transformers are installed. These help turn DC power generated by the solar panels into usable AC power that can power homes and businesses via the electrical grid.
  • Installation of farm-style game fencing is complete.
  • All major deliveries have been completed. Very few semi-trucks should be traveling to the site moving forward.

Labor

Solar construction creates career opportunities in your community. Our latest update:

  • There are currently about 130 workers on site each day. At the peak of construction, there were around 200 workers on site.
  • South Bend based Inovateus Solar LLC is the construction contractor for the facility, with a focus on utilizing local labor for the mechanical, electrical and civil work on site. More than 75% of the direct construction force is local labor.
  • Participating unions include: IBEW Local 153, IUOE Local 150, and LiUNA Local 645.
Utility-scale solar projects create hundreds of jobs during construction.

Responsible solar

Lightsource bp has a deep commitment to delivering safe, clean and affordable energy, as well as maximizing environmental sustainability and positive social impacts for each of our projects. We call this approach Responsible Solar. We pay attention to every detail, from the fencing we choose to the vegetation we plant. As the project owner and operator, we want our Honeysuckle Solar farm to be a great project for the local community.

  • Prior to construction, we pre-seeded the array area with 25 species of primarily native grasses and flowering plants to stabilize the soil during construction. The practice of early seeding assists with soil and vegetation stabilization, along with weed suppression and stormwater management, prior to and during construction. Post-construction, for the life of the project, Lightsource bp creates vegetation plans that establish healthy groundcover that aids in holding stormwater and reducing erosion.
  • We aerially re-seeded the array area in early October to help promote healthy growth under and around the solar panels during the project life.
  • More than 50 plant species are growing in a 10-acre pollinator garden outside the site perimeter, created in partnership with The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund.
  • 94% of waste generated on the project will be disposed of in a sustainable manner. We are partnering with local and regional recyclers to repurpose pallets, cardboard and other materials.
  • Lightsource bp is also committed to recycling all solar panels used at our sites, including any damaged during construction. Any damaged solar panels are sent back to their manufacturer to be recycled as well.
  • We recently announced a donation to the local workforce development program “Upskill South Bend” to help community members earn professional solar certifications.

Honeysuckle Solar construction photos