Indianapolis Airport Solar Project Still Awaiting Approval

The second phase of a solar farm at the Indianapolis Airport is months behind schedule.

Solar Panels

Photo: Alex Dierckman WTIU/WFIU

The panels are built on land that the airport couldn't use because of height restrictions for areas around the runways.

44,000 solar panels at the Indianapolis International Airport already collect enough energy to power 1,800 homes.

A second installation of panels was expected to be finished by the summer. It would have doubled the energy producing capacity.

Kurt Schneider is the Vice President of Johnson Melloh Solutions, the contracting company in charge of the project. He says it’s delayed because his company wanted to take advantage of new software that will boost power production.

“We feel that we’ll get between a 15 to 20 percent increase, power,” he says.

That means the final project would produce enough energy to power nearly 4,000 homes.

Schneider says his team is learning a lot, especially coming off a harsh winter that set their energy consumption back nearly 10 percent. He says the project  is generating world-wide attention. His office is getting calls from around the world.

“A lot of airports are really looking at Indianapolis as the battleship, as the proving ground, that this really works,” he says.

Schneider says Milwaukee, Chicago, Des Moines, Australia, and Germany are interested in solar power projects at their airports.

Alex Dierckman

Alex Dierckman is a reporter and anchor for WFIU/WTIU News and Indiana Newsdesk. She has been with the station since 2012. From Carmel, Indiana, Alex is excited to report and deliver the news in her home state. You can follow her on Twitter @alexdierckman.

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