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Recent Snowfall Disables Indianapolis Solar Panels

The panels are covered with snow after the weekend's storm brought around 12 inches to the Indianapolis area.

44,000 solar panels at the Indianapolis International Airport collect enough energy per year to power 1,800 homes, but for the last three days they haven’t collected anything.

Covered with a foot of snow the panels are rendered useless unless the snow is removed.

Partner at Johnson Melloh Solutions, Kurt Schneider says it takes only a thimble-sized hole in the snow for the panel to warm up enough to melt away the rest, but maintenance employees haven’t been sent out to do the work- costing the company thousands in potential revenues from solar energy generation.

“There’s about $8,219 a day,” Schneider said. “That’s how much money you would have if you divide it by 365 days, but in the winter time for four to five months, the expectation only produces one third of the piece where as the other six or seven months produces the other two-thirds so you’re looking at $4,500 a day.”

The Indy Solar Farm is expected to generate $3 million annually. As of Wednesday morning, they’d lost around $12,000 in revenue, but Schneider doesn’t see that as a threat. He says sunny summer days that exceed expected energy generation should make up for the loss.

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