Sunday, April 3, 2011

Indianapolis Schools Benefit from Solar, Wind Test Site

Energy Solutions created a test site for solar and wind energy in Indianapolis, hopes to help cut utility costs at schools and other businesses.

Two Indianapolis companies are joining forces to harness the power of the sun and the wind. Johnson-Melloh and Schmidt Associates created Energy Solutions.

The company built a test site for the renewable energy sources on the city's southwest side. The large solar panels face I-465 and a group of wind turbines can also be seen from the interstate.

"We basically said hey, let's put up these systems to see how they work to find out what they can do for our customers," said Kurt Schneider, with Energy Solutions.

The combination of new technology and federal tax incentives for companies that produce and use solar energy encouraged Energy Solutions to experiment with the renewable energy.

The current panel array at 5925 Stockberger Place produces 100 kilowatts of energy, enough to power the building itself. Next, the company wants to install the technology in local school buildings to help cut operational costs.

"If we can come in and provide an annuity for 50 years for a school and basically cut the actual cost or at least level the cost for a school for 50 years without increases, then we've saved teachers after a period of time after the thing is paid off," Schneider said.

Currently Energy Solutions is working to install solar powered lighting at Delta High School in Delaware County.

The company is hosting an open house to tour the new technology at it's test site on April 22.

You could also soon see more solar panels on neighboring property of Energy Solutions. The Indianapolis Airport is exploring setting up solar farms on perimiter land to generate engery and potential revenue by selling it to utility companies.


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