Solar Power

solar panels
Jennifer Weingart

Elkhart County officials will vote on a large-scale proposed solar project this weekend.

Savion / Captured via YouTube

The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners have decided to put off a decision about a planned solar farm in Elkhart County until September or October. During the Aug. 16 meeting, the board voted unanimously to table the proposal for now while they weigh arguments in favor of and against the project.

Jakob Lazzaro / WVPE

 


 

In his July 29 annual state of the city address, South Bend Mayor James Mueller made infrastructure investments a priority and announced plans for a revamped community center on the city’s west side.

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Hoosiers who want solar panels on their home only have a year to install them to get the best return on their investment. Higher net metering rates are set to expire by July 2022.

Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

With some state incentives for solar energy set to end next July, a co-op has launched to help Northern Indiana residents go solar before the deadline. 

Back in 2017, the state voted to lower net metering rates, meaning solar homeowners will receive less credit on their energy bill for the excess power they send back to the grid.

 

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Big solar projects in Indiana this year have already doubled the state’s solar capacity. A new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association said the state now has enough solar to power more than 111,000 homes.

Amble/Wikimedia Commons

Critics of solar power often point out that unlike coal or natural gas, it isn’t always available when the sun isn’t shining. But one type of solar power plant can be dispatched to the grid almost as easily as fossil fuels — the problem is, it’s expensive. Purdue University researchers are looking into ways to lower those costs, which would make these plants competitive.

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State and local leaders unveiled the 210-acre St. Joseph Solar Farm in Granger on Thursday.

Indiana Michigan Power broke ground on the farm in July 2020, and construction wrapped up this past March.

The farm is I&M's largest, with 30 football fields’ worth of solar panels. Company officials say that's enough to power more than 2,700 homes a year. 

 

Muncie To Buy Former GM Factory Land To Build Solar Farm

Jan 26, 2021
(Photo: City of Muncie)

The city of Muncie is buying the former GM factory property on the city’s Southside.  Officials want to turn it into a solar panel farm to generate power.

The former General Motors factory was closed in 2006 and the property has sat largely vacant since the buildings were demolished. Muncie will purchase 53 acres from the trust that owns the land. Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour says solar panels will be added to generate more than 24 million kWh of energy.

A St. Joseph County School Embraces Solar Power For Energy

Jan 25, 2021
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WALKERTON, Ind. (AP) — A school in northern Indiana expects to be powered by the sun by March. The project at North Liberty Elementary in St. Joseph County is part of a broader effort to improve energy efficiency in the John Glenn district. Principal Randy Romer says the 846 solar panels can be used as an education tool as students learn how output varies depending on the weather. A monitor will be placed in a common area so students can see how much power is being produced.

How To Have Solar Power And Eat, Too

Aug 12, 2019
Rick Callahan/AP Photo

Purdue researchers are investigating the viability of solar power production on farmland, hoping their work in so-called “aglectric” engineering will balance food and energy production.

Chemical engineering professor Rakesh Agrawal says merging the footprint of the two helps mitigate issues presented by a shortage of available empty land.

 

Michigan City Schools Launch Solar Power Initiative

Mar 28, 2018
Michigan City Area Schools

Michigan City Area Schools today celebrated the addition of new solar arrays to its facilities in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Krueger Middle School.

 

The recently installed ground-mount solar arrays feed into the NIPSCO power grid and the school corporation expects the new solar panels, which have been placed  at 7 of its 16 facilities, including the main administration building, to offset utility costs by at least 52 percent per year.  

 

That’s an annual savings of about $704,000 dollars.