For decades, Norm Welker has risen with the sun to work his 1,000-acre farm in northwest Indiana. But now he is moving from farming corn to farming the sun. He is one of 60 local landowners who are leasing land for what will be the largest solar farm in the US. The 13,000-acre Mammoth Solar project — a partnership between Indiana and Israeli-based Doral Renewables LLC — is expected to bring a roughly $1.5 billion investment into the state over the next five years. It will also mean huge financial gains for local landowners as well as Starke and Pulaski counties. Solar panels will cover only about 2,500 acres, with about 2.85 million panels which can power nearly a quarter-million homes.

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