The Monroe County Board of Commissioners celebrated the completion of the solar panels on the North Showers Building on Saturday afternoon.
More than 50 people attended the ceremony as Commissioner Mark Stoops announced the beginning of the Monroe County Energy Challenge, a contest between County Government and three county schools on who can conserve the most energy.
“A year from now we will find out basically who reduces energy consumption the most as a percentage of their total and so we’ll be working hard to beat those students,” Stoops said.
The contestants’ goal is to cut thirteen percent of the county’s total energy costs in one year which would amount to around $130,000 dollars. Energy consumption can be monitored at energy dashboards located at the schools, The Showers Building, the courthouse and the justice building.
Indiana University economics professor and Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom said the panels will set an example for other people and communities.
“Counties around all of Indiana, there’s a huge amount that we need to do,” Ostrum said. “We show we can do it. We can. Those two words “We Can”, they’re really important.”
The solar panel system is the largest installed on a locally or state owned government building in Indiana. Monroe County received a grant from Indiana Office of Energy Development last November.
The public can also view the energy dashboards data at the Monroe County website.