Carmel plans solar fields at parking garages, other facilities

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The City of Carmel is planning to install four solar fields on municipal property in the next year or two with the goals of helping the environment immediately and saving on energy costs in the long-term.

Solar panels are planned on top of the Veterans Way and Booth Tarkington parking garages, at the wastewater treatment plant at 106th Street and Gray Road and sanitary sewer pump station on Hazel Dell Parkway. The solar panels at the parking garages would be built on a structure that could serve as a canopy and still allow cars to park on the top floor.

“Not only would it help provide power for city facilities, but we’re also very careful about making sure we get a good return on our investment in reduction in our electric bills,” Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said.

The city estimates it will cost $3.2 million to install the 6,196 panels, which are expected to save the city $7.5 million in energy costs in their lifetime. The panels are expected to provide energy to the sites where they are built and to adjacent buildings owned by the city.

City officials have been working with Carmel-based Telamon, which partners with business clients to increase efficiency and streamline operations, to plan the project.

Brainard said he expects to build solar panels on the city’s other garages in the future.

“All of our garages have the potential to do it,” he said.

BY THE NUMBERS

The solar panels are expected to annually generate electricity equivalent to:

  • 230,576 gallons of gasoline
  • 2.2 million pounds of coal
  • 4,742 barrels of oil
  • 307 homes using electricity
  • 6.4 million pounds of CO2

*Source: City of Carmel 

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1 Comment

  1. Ann Marie, Couple of quick questions in the interest of facts and context (versus ‘ooh, isn’t that cool): 1. What is the Kwh equivalent of each of the panels? 2. Are you missing commas and the word ‘or’ in your list of equivalencies? 3. What is the ‘life’ of the panels? Just using the # of homes x avg annual usage x 12 /1000 only equals about 3.6 mKwh. That times 0.10/Kwh is NOT a huge savings.

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