Calvary's January 2020 Lunch & Learn featured Calvary's own Jake Allen, as he presented on the Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), its programs, and it's solar energy initiatives. After a great meal highlighted by Beef Stroganoff, social time, and lots of desserts, the program started with the traditional announcements, birthdays and prayers. Jake then energized attendees with good information about IPL.
Jake highlighted a number of customer programs that we can all take advantage of, including PowerView Online, Ditch Your Fridge, eScore Home Energy Assessment, and IPL Green Power. Information on all these can be found online at www.iplpower.com/Ways_to_Save/Home/.
From an IPL perspective, solar energy is produced by two distinct entities: 1) customer owned solar and 2) IPL purchases of solar by contract. While Indiana is only a moderate US Solar Resource state, Indianapolis ranked #7 in US cities for solar power per capita as of April 2019!
The customer owned solar program at IPL includes Customer Owned Net Energy Metering where IPL buys all excess energy the customer produces that is not used in their home. This is bought back at retail rates. While solar PV cell prices have plummeted in the last 30 years, these customer owned systems still require a large initial investment and have a relatively long payback period.
IPL's purchase of contract solar power was initiated in 2013. High profile projects can be seen throughout Indianapolis, and include large solar panel installations at the airport and on Southport Road. This has resulted in 100 MW of renewable energy production.
IPL's just completed 20 Year Resource Plan projects increased deployment of renewable energy and reduced usage of coal-fired energy, including closure of some coal-fired plants. Dependence on coal, which is currently at about 44%, is expected to drop to just 27% by 2039.
Note that it is true today — and will be true in the future — that the best way to reduce energy costs is to become more energy efficient, and IPL has many programs that assist customers in their efforts to reduce energy usage and cost.
Many thanks to Jake for his informative and entertaining presentation!