Project in Greenwood, Ind., uses bifacial solar panels and ballasted racks, delivers $140,000 in operating savings Endress + Hauserautomation and instrumentation manufacturer, in the first year alone.
Delivering savings to solar customers through site optimization is more important than ever in Indiana, which recently phased out net metering. Since 2004, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission had required the state’s five investor-owned utilities to provide net metering to all electric customers. In the policy, these customers were allowed to sell their excess energy back to utilities at the same price that the power companies charged the customers for electricity. However, a legislative initiative passed by state lawmakers in 2017 began phasing out net metering, and the official end date occurred recently. As a result, what customers could have earned by selling solar electricity back to the grid dropped by about 70 percent.
RPG Energy Group and Castillo Engineering worked together to meet the necessary deadlines – both legislative and operational – to enable this 1.3 MW solar project to be deployed on retail net metering. In order to comply with the net metering deadlines, companies had to submit an interconnection application and receive approvals within six months of the project’s completion.
In addition to meeting tight deadlines to get this customer up and running with their solar system to achieve retail net metering, the project also resulted in a 53% net utility offset. An equipment manufacturer that manufactures flow meters for liquid, gas and steam systems can now offset the annual production of thousands of flow meters thanks to this solar energy system.
“We are grateful to have had this additional opportunity to work with RPG and generate significant long-term savings for this business,” said Christopher Castillo, CEO of Castillo Engineering. “RPG’s expertise in industrial-scale behind-the-meter solar projects was critical to the success of this project.”