Largest U.S. Airport Solar Farm to Begin Construction March 2013

Construction of the largest planned airport solar farm in North America is set to begin in March 2013 at the entrance to the Indianapolis International Airport (IND). This $35-$40 million dollar alternative energy project is a significant public-private partnership that includes the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA), the City of Indianapolis, and privately held businesses Telamon Corporation, Johnson Melloh Solutions, and the Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL). All entities involved are committed to finding a creative solution to increasing sustainability in Indianapolis while helping diversify renewable sources of electric power for Indianapolis business and residential customers.

IND Solar Farm RenderingUpon its completion the 75-acre solar farm, designed and built by two local companies Telamon Corporation and Johnson Melloh Solutions, will have the capacity to produce enough renewable energy to prevent approximately 10,700 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment each year—the equivalent of removing approximately 2,000 cars from the roads of central Indiana.

“Typically alternative energy projects of this size take 18-24 months of planning and development after all agreements have been signed. Our solar farm project is on schedule,” said Eric Tate, Executive Vice President for Telamon’s Energy Solutions division.

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IND Solar Farm developers Telamon Corporation and Johnson Melloh Solutions report that the Federal Aviation Administration “FAA” approval has been received and it is anticipated that all other permits will be obtained, including: drainage, structural, electrical and airport work permits.

“Projects of this size require a lot of teamwork, and we are happy to be partnered with true professionals within the IAA and Telamon Corporation,” said Kurt Schneider, Vice President for Johnson Melloh Solutions. “The IAA deserves a lot of credit for their creativity in finding ways to generate new streams of non-airline revenue, innovative development of limited-use land, and for continuing their solid commitment to sustainability. We also commend Indianapolis Power & Light Company for being a leader in securing renewable electric energy alternatives for their customers.”

As operations begin later this year, the IND-based solar farm will comprise more than 41,000 solar panels, annually producing more than 15 million kilowatt hours of electric energy, enough to power more than 1,200 average American homes for a year.
“Both Telamon and Johnson Melloh Solutions are excited to announce the recent developments regarding the IND Solar Farm,” said Albert Chen, President and CEO of Telamon Corporation. “We look forward to continuing our role in the preconstruction, construction, oversight, and commissioning stages of the project as a venture partner.”

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Over the next three months, travelers entering IND will see land surveyors working to finalize grid layouts and conducting land-preparation surveys; access road development; fencing; and excavation while final selections for engineering and contracting firms occur.

“Today’s solar power costs are becoming relatively competitive with the energy costs we will see here in the coming years.” said Travis Murphy, Johnson Melloh Solutions’ Director of Marketing. “Solar power does make good economic sense and we are excited by this opportunity to forge new ground in Indiana.”

Construction is planned to start at the end of March 2013. Once concrete is poured, arrays will begin to interconnect into IPL’s airport substation.

“As the first airport in the U.S. to receive LEED® certification for its entire campus, IND is the appropriate home to the largest airport-based solar farm in the country,” said Robert Duncan, executive director for the IAA. “We believe the public-private partnership formed to build and manage this new solar farm is a natural fit to our commitment to both economic and environmental sustainability.”

Additional Indianapolis International Airport facts:

  •     IND’s economic impact in Central Indiana is more than $4.5 billion annually, and about 10,000 people work at the airport each day.
  •     IND serves more than 7 million business and leisure travelers each year and averages 141 daily flights to 33 nonstop destinations.
  •     IND is home of the world’s second-largest FedEx Express operation and the nation’s eighth-largest cargo airport.

Timeline of IND Solar Farm construction and deployment:

  •     Project announcement (September 2011)
  •     Pre-development activites (October 2011 – August 2012)
  •     Permitting and approvals (September 2012 – February 2013)
  •     Pre-construction activities (February 2013 – March 2013)
  •     Construction (April – August 2013)
  •     Commissioning

For more information, visit IND Solar Farm’s Web site

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