Duke Energy has secured approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for the construction of a new 17MW solar power plant at Naval Support Activity Crane, also known as Crane naval station.

Crane naval station is located about 40 miles southwest of Bloomington, Indiana.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved a settlement agreement between the company and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor to build the solar plant, which will sit on roughly 145 acres in the southeast portion of the naval base.

It will be the second-largest solar power plant in the state, and the largest on the Duke Energy Indiana system.

Duke Energy Indiana president Melody Birmingham-Byrd said: "This helps provide our customers with a more balanced energy mix using both traditional fuel sources and renewable energy sources.

"We are pleased to partner with the Navy on a project that will deliver clean energy to Indiana customers, and improved energy security for the Navy."

Construction activity will begin this month, with installation of approximately 76,000 solar panels. The power plant is expected to start sending solar energy to the grid by early 2017.

The project marks the second major solar project that Duke Energy is building in partnership with the Department of the Navy. The company announced in 2015 a 13-megawatt solar plant at Camp Lejeune in Eastern North Carolina, which is now operational.

Duke Energy is a leader in renewable energy with more than 2,000 megawatts of wind and solar facilities in 12 states.