Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

May 16, 2013

Second solar farm approved at airport


CNHI

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) recently announced that it has selected a joint venture group between two locally-owned companies, Johnson Melloh Solutions and Telamon, to develop a second 10-megawatt solar farm on Indianapolis International Airport property.

Bulldog Energy Airport, LLC and Indy Airport Solar Project II, LLC will co-develop the solar farm directly west of the phase one solar farm currently under construction. When the projects are completed, IND will be the site of the largest airport-based solar farm developments in the country.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bulldog Energy Airport, LLC and Indy Airport Solar Project II, LLC will finance, design, construct, and operate the facility on land leased from the IAA. Design and utility interconnection studies are already approved, and construction could begin as early as the third quarter of 2013. Combined phase one and phase two projects will exceed 20 megawatts.

The phase two solar farm is expected to produce more than 15 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or enough power for 1,200 average American homes for one year. This is comparable to preventing approximately 10,700 tons of CO2 from being released into the environment each year, which is the equivalent of removing approximately 2,000 cars from the road. To help raise awareness of solar energy, real-time output data will be available to the public.

Electricity generated by the airport solar farm will be fed directly into the grid operated by the Indianapolis Power and Light Company (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.

“Development of a second IND-based solar farm is the result of our continued focus on both economic sustainability and environmental commitments,” said Robert Duncan, executive director for the IAA. “The solar farms allow previously undeveloped land to begin generating solar energy as well as significant sources of non-airline revenues for the IAA. This creates benefits for all airport stakeholders, better positions us to sustain current and future air service, and adds to the more than $55 million in state and local tax revenues annually generated as a result of the airport’s presence.”

“We are excited to see the economic impact from the construction jobs created from not only this project, but the approximately $300 million of projects identified in the IPL pipeline,” said Bob McKinney, chief operating officer at Johnson Melloh Solutions.

“Every great strategy includes a solid hedge, and diversification of our electric generation is the first step toward stabilizing what could be a very volatile rate environment for Hoosiers with currently 90 percent of our electricity produced by coal fired generation,” said Nick Melloh, president of Johnson Melloh Solutions.

“We could be talking about billions of dollars in construction projects across the state if all public utilities were to follow IPL’s lead and vision. Feed in tariffs offered by utilities are huge economic development drivers and our hope is to see more FIT’s offered in the future,” said Kurt Schneider, vice president of Johnson Melloh Solutions.