Indianapolis Power and Light has broken ground on a 75-acre solar farm at Indianapolis International Airport.
Engineers will install 41,000 solar panels on land just west of the airport terminal. When the project‘s complete this fall, IPL spokeswoman Brandi Davis-Handy says it will generate enough energy to power 1,200 homes.
“It‘s a small percentage,” she says. “The great thing about this is this whole project is really a test pilot to see how we can do this in the future. The main thing for IPL, and I think for most of the partners, is really to have that diverse portfolio of generation.”
Indianapolis International Airport Authority Board Vice President Kelly Flynn says the solar farm benefits the airport as well.
“Because of FAA restrictions on land developments near airports, it can be challenging to find viable land uses that are also compatible with airport operating environments,” he says. “The solar farm represents an ideal solution to this challenge.”
The project has been in the works for two years. Airport officials say it is a rare opportunity to develop land that close to the airport.