Bright, Sunny, and Big Savings

Bright, Sunny, and Big Savings

Our sun is truly one big, beautiful, burning ball of gas and that’s been warming up big savings for Indiana companies lately. New and exciting ways of reducing energy costs and carbon emissions are on the rise, and with them come opportunities to cut costs and save a lot of money on energy. Also, innovations are taking place surrounding the solar technology companies are using to generate those savings.


Three Projects, Zero Construction Waste

NIPSCO Valparaiso.

Three separate solar utility projects were recently completed by South Bend-based Inovateus Solar on behalf of Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). The projects are the utility’s first solar installations of what will likely be many. NIPSCO has announced plans to retire all of its remaining coal-fired electric generating stations by 2028 and replacing them with less expensive, cleaner energy.

  • A 120 kilowatt, alternating current (kWac) array with 432 solar panels was installed at NIPSCO’s Merrillville headquarters and will generate 216,958 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean power annually.
  • A 100 kWac system with 360 panels was installed at the energy company’s LaPorte local operating office, and
  • A similar-sized system as the LaPorte office was also installed at the Valparaiso local operating office.

Each of those projects will produce 181,841 kWh of solar power per year. In total, the three installations will provide enough carbon-free power to offset the equivalent of planting over 10,000 pine trees each year they are in service.

Builders achieved zero-waste construction by recycling equipment packaging and avoiding any construction waste being sent to landfills. Inovateus Solar officials collected all packaging, metal and plastic bands, cardboard, excess plastic conduit, scrap wire, and wooden pallets. In total, these efforts prevented approximately 3.7 tons of construction waste going to Indiana landfills. All debris was sorted and taken to a recycling center or compost facility except for two small pine trees – which were replanted outside the solar company’s offices.


Seed Producer Cuts Energy Costs in Half

Total Seed’s solar array.

Total Seed Production, Inc. (TSP) recently completed an installation of solar panels at their facility in Tipton, IN. The solar panel system will provide entire electric energy needs for half of the TSP facility, plus it will help reduce operating costs, protect against inflation/changing utility rates, reduce their carbon footprint, and help them become more of a green business as a renewable and sustainable energy source. Neighbors of TSP’s facility will also benefit because it will help improve the stability of the power grid.

Ag Technologies, of Rochester, IN, designed and installed the system for TSP. It is a 522.24 Kw system made up of 1,632 solar panels featuring high-efficient Q Cell solar panels from Hanwha Q Cell headquartered in Dalton, GA. The instillation also has SolarCam solar stands made in Indiana that provide single axis tracking of the sun.


American-Made Solar Project

Harlow Farms array.

The last few months haven’t been easy for Indiana’s agricultural sector. Farms and other operations have been notably hit hard by a multitude of disruptions and uncertain economic fluctuations. Understandably, many farmers have been looking at energy alternatives to help save money. Enter Emergent Solar Energy, a Purdue University-affiliated company that recently began working to help farms slash their carbon footprints and energy costs.

Emergent Solar Energy is headquartered at Purdue Research Foundation’s park in West Lafayette. It provides solar solutions to the commercial, industrial, municipal, agricultural sectors across the Midwest.

Among its more recent projects, the company installed a 124-kilowatt (KW) ground-mounted solar array on Harlow Farms in Tipton County. It is the largest on-farm solar project in the county and was constructed with American-made parts. The solar power is offsetting the energy load of the hog barns and grain storage system.

This new solar project will supply 90% of the annual electricity needs of the entire farm facility.


Clear Skies Ahead

The declining prices of solar projects and the increased need to reduce energy expenses means that more projects like these are sure to come over the near future. According to data from late last year, Indiana is projected to add about 1,628 MW of solar energy over the next five years. That’s a whole lot of free, clean energy for Hoosiers and it could be a bright spot for business.