IND SOLAR FARM
Michael Wells, IAA Board of Directors
The Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) is home to the largest solar farm located on an airport property in the world. With 20 MW production capacity, the IND Solar Farm captures solar radiation from the sun and converts it into electricity to help power Indianapolis homes and businesses. As a result of a unique public-private collaboration, the IND Solar Farm helps demonstrate that Indianapolis is a progressive and welcoming community.
Serving as project developers, Johnson Melloh Solutions and Telamon Corporation kickstarted the three-phase project. CENERGY Power provided the engineering expertise employing over 140 local construction workers. General Energy Solutions and WGL Energy own and operate different sections of the farm. Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) has a 15-year agreement to purchase the electricity and feed it into the electric grid. The rental income from the IND Solar Farm helps the IAA maintain competitively-priced services for its tenants and travelers alike.
Commissioned in October 2013, Phase 1 consisted of 44,128 panels on 75 acres. December 2014, saw the second phase contracted, involving 86 acres of tracking panels. In October 2015, the third phase was completed consisting of 11,250 panels on 22 acres. The solar farm now totals an expansive 183 acres of photovoltaic panels and produces an estimated 35,845,000 kWh/year. The creation of the entire farm cost approximately $73 million. Today, it produces enough electricity to power 3,000 homes, roughly equivalent to the population of Danville, Indiana.
Many of the modern amenities we enjoy as an advanced society are directly related to our access to reliable power. For decades we have relied on polluting fossil energy sources, but it is now clear that these sources cannot sustain the increasing energy demand without diminishing our environmental resources. Increasing costs of pollution controls and decreasing cost of solar energy projects create tremendous opportunity to diversify the energy production mix. The Hoosier state bears significant momentum in the rapidly emerging solar industry, in both manufacturing and installation, and the IND Solar Farm presents an excellent example of sustainable development and commitment to environmental stewardship, as well as stimulating economic growth through job creation and tax revenues. These projects also offer a unique chance to increase awareness of the benefits of renewable energy production and further advance Indiana's thriving solar industry.
What Can 300 Watts Power?
1 Solar Panel ≈ 300 Watt
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Indianapolis Airport Authority. (2014, December 22). Largest airport based solar farm in the world now operating at the Indianapolis International Airport. Media Releases. Retrieved from http://www.indianapolisairport.com/information_news/mediaReleases.aspx
Indianapolis Power & Light Company. (2011). Environmental stewardship. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.iplpower.com/solar/?terms=airport%20solar%20farm
Johnson Melloh Solutions Inc. (n.d.). Indianapolis airport solar field. Retrieved from http://johnsonmellohsolutions.com/our-projects/indianapolis-airport-solar-field/
Telamon Corporation. (n.d.). Energy. Retrieved from http://telamon.com/energy/
Wikipedia.org. (n.d.). Danville, Indiana. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danville,_Indiana