On a Labor Day trip back to Indiana, I am always impressed at the new Indianapolis airport but have been as equally impressed with the massive Solar Farm that’s located directly next to the airport. Unlike South Florida, Indiana land is NOT at a premium. There are rolling fields (in some locations) as far as the eye can see! And although we are limited in our open fields in South Florida, we DO have room for wind power farms. If we could learn from Indianapolis and start to incorporate and build wind farms, the benefits would be tremendous; not only to the environment but to the local economy as well.
STATS on the INDIANAPOLIS SOLAR FARM
- 75 acre solar farm
- Consists of 44,128 panels
- 12.5 megawatt DC solar system
- Generates approximately 16.5 million kilowatt hours per year, enough to power 1,800 homes
- Airport is owned and operated by Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA)
- GES, Telamon, and Johnson Melloh Solutions developed and financed the project. Cenergy Power engineered, procured and constructed the system.
- Project estimated cost of $35-$40 million. Created up to 140 temporary jobs and 12 permanent positions
- SOLAR ENERGY produced will be sold to Indianapolis Power & Light through a 15 year power purchase program
- Environmental equivalents of the clean power produced by the solar system annually: carbon sequestered by 10,000 acres of forest & CO2 emissions from 27,000 barrels of oil.
- Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1921 which focused on SOLAR POWER and photovoltaics.
- Space PROGRAMS first began using photovoltaic (PV) systems in 1958 and are still used today.
- The solar cells in the solar panels are made up of silicon. Silicon is predominantly prominent in sand.
It is a SOLAR PANEL that generates electrical power by converting solar radiation into electricity. In 2004, photovoltaic (PV) capacity passed wind as the fasting growing renewable energy source, and in 2011 produced a worldwide capacity of 67,000 megawatts.
What is the environmental and economic impact?
The renewable energy produced will prevent the release of 10,700 tons of CO2, which is comparable to removing approximately 2,000 cars from the road. The project created 140 temporary jobs and 12 permanent positions.
What will be done with the power produced?
The energy will be sold to Indianapolis Power & Light via a Power Purchase Agreement by the project owner.
The Spinnaker Group Inc.
Sustainability + LEED Consulting, Energy Modeling, Building Commissioning
By: Jessica Lieberman, LEED AP ID+C, Director of Marketing