PULASKI COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) – Groundbreaking ceremonies on Thursday marked the start of the next phase of a solar farm project so large, it’s simply called Mammoth, and it’s touted as the largest in the country.

“Well, we love the pole position in Indiana, we love the race, and we love to win,” said Governor Eric Holcomb, (R-Ind.) “Today is a victory for Pulaski County.”

The Starke County section of Mammoth started last November. Today, acres and acres of farmland there are littered with solar panel support poles.

The Mammoth footprint in Starke County is about 4,000 acres, part of Pulaski County will add another 3,500. Plans for future phases bring the total acreage of the farm up to 13,000.

“And it also places Indiana in a top five state in the United States of America for the delivery and production of clean energy,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “How about that?”

While the project is not without opposition, Doral Renewables is now being praised for being a good neighbor and praised for creating a showpiece.

Only 20 percent of the project’s footprint will actually sport solar panels.

“We don’t cut trees, we leave wetlands, if there’s a sensitive habitat, we don’t touch it,” explained Doral CEO and President Nick Cohen. “There is sheep grazing, there is what we call Agri voltaic, different crops are grown around and sometimes between the panels. Today we are giving away solar popcorn. We planted popcorn on the edges of the project.

Cohen says the second phase of the Mammoth project will create 400 new jobs over the next two years with 75 to 80 percent of the workforce being local.

Doral will also pay the Pulaski County Government $40 million over the next 20 years.

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