Indianapolis airport to build solar farm
The Indianapolis Airport Authority has picked ET Energy Solutions to develop a solar farm on Indianapolis International Airport property.
The company is a joint venture between three locally based firms that bid on the project: Johnson-Melloh Solutions, Schmidt Associates and Telamon Corp.
Under terms of the agreement, ET Energy will finance, design, construct and operate the facility on land leased from the airport authority. The group will work with Sanyo North America Corp., a developer of solar energy technology, which will provide panels for the project and help with arranging financing.
Design and utility interconnection studies are already underway, and weather permitting, construction could begin as early as the fourth quarter, the airport authority said. The solar farm, which will be one of the largest airport-based solar farms in North America, is expected to become operational in mid-2012.
The facility will include more than 41,000 solar panels, which will be installed on ground-mounted racking systems that will fill nearly 60 acres of land near the airport exit from Interstate 70. The solar farm is expected to annually produce more than 15 million kilowatt hours of electric energy, enough to power more than 1,200 average American homes for a year.
Electricity created by the airport solar farm will be fed directly into the grid operated by the Indianapolis Power and Light Co. (IPL) through existing surface transmission lines that connect the airport terminal to the IPL substation west of the airport. No public funds or airport costs are anticipated to be involved in the project, the airport authority said.