The Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) has constructed a 1.0 Megawatt solar power generating facility on our property. The IMPA Richmond Solar Park is located on eight acres of land south of our main facility. This facility, along with two additional 1.0 Megawatt solar facilities in Frankton and Rensselaer, Indiana, compose part of the IMPA generation portfolio that provides wholesale power to 59 Indiana communities. The IMPA Richmond Solar park is the final project in this round of solar park installations to be completed by IMPA.
Size: Approximately 4,000 solar panels on approximately 8 acres of land
Output: 1.0 Megawatts (MW) AC
Construction: Completed August 2014
Racking: Horizontal tracking system that enables the panels to move, tracking the sun throughout the day
Owner: Indiana Municipal Power Agency
Q: Who owns the Solar Park?
A: The solar park is owned by the Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA). IMPA is a not for profit agency providing wholesale electric power to municipal utilities in Indiana and Ohio. As a member of IMPA, we hold a seat on the IMPA Board of Commissioners and have input into all decisions made by the Agency. In this way, we own a portion of the solar park. The cost of the construction and maintenance of the property will be paid for by IMPA.
Q: Will my home power be connected to the solar park?
A: The output from the park will be placed on the local electric distribution system, which in turn is connected to the high voltage power transmission system ("The Grid") and becomes part of all electric generation that is attached to the system. As electricity from the solar panels will join with electricity generated by other facilities on the transmission system, it is impossible to tell if the electricity generated by the solar park is specifically powering any particular home or building.
Q: Will having the solar park located here in Richmond lower my electric bill?
A: The IMPA Richmond Solar Park will have very little impact on your electric bill. IMPA is dedicated to providing low cost, reliable and environmentally responsible power to its member communities. Electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind is more expensive than traditional resources. The construction of this solar park, and the other parks planned in IMPA communities, is meant to further diversify IMPA's portfolio of power supply resources, adding additional "green" energy as we prepare for the possibility of future, more restrictive, federal or state requirements. IMPA's demonstration solar projects will be blended with its other resources, and through this initiative and others, IMPA will strive to keep its electric rates among the lowest in Indiana.
Q: Does the solar park have security?
A: Yes, the park has security measures in place. The park itself does not require someone to be there to operate, but IMPA personnel will visit and conduct regular maintenance.
Q: What about noise?
A: Capturing the sun's power through solar cells does not make noise in itself, but there can be a hum produced when the electricity is transformed to be used in our homes and businesses. This sound, similar to other electric equipment in neighborhoods and businesses, is not particularly loud. Steps have been taken at the solar park, through enclosures and the facility's physical layout, to reduce any noise.
Q: Is there any danger having the park in our community?
A: A solar park is about as safe as a facility can be. There are no air emissions from the facility. There are no chemicals. No trucks will be coming and going on a daily basis once construction is complete. The power will leave the park on lines just like the power lines in your neighborhood.
Q: What about glare?
A: Glare is produced by reflected sunlight. The more sunlight a solar panel absorbs, the more electricity it can produce. Today's solar panels absorb all but about 30 percent of the sunlight that hits them. What is left is just a little bit more than the glare from the sun hitting grass or trees.
Want to know more? Contact Dan at IMPA!
About IMPA: The Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) is a wholesale electric power provider serving the needs of 59 cities and towns in Indiana, as well as one community in Ohio. IMPA was formed so its member utilities could share power resources, allowing cities and towns to provide electricity more economically to their customers. Altogether, IMPA members deliver electric service to approximately 330,000 individuals throughout Indiana and Ohio. IMPA utilized local and global contractors to complete the solar park installations. For the IMPA Richmond Solar Park, civil work was provided by B and B Constructers of Indiana, engineering by Inovateus Solar of Indiana, racking by RBI Solar of Ohio, electrical work by Dovetail Wind & Solar of Ohio, and inverter by Danfoss of Illinois.