Indiana’s last net-metered solar project comes online


Castillo Engineering and RPG Energy Group, an energy efficiency and renewable energy integrator, have completed a 1.3 MW solar project in Indiana, the latest grid-metering project in the state. The project in Greenwood uses double-sided solar panels and ballast racks and will provide $140,000 in operating savings for Endress+Hauser, an automation and instrumentation company, in its first year of operation.

Credit: Castillo Engineering

“After successfully partnering with Castillo Engineering on a solar project for the world’s largest instrumentation company, we knew we could rely on their extensive experience to help us meet the tight deadlines for both the interconnect electrical and structural feasibility studies required for this project. : said Colton Cooper, vice president of design and engineering at RPG Energy Group. “Together, we were able to ensure this project was completed on time, all while delivering significant savings to our client.”

Since 2004, the Indiana Public Utilities Regulatory Commission has required the state’s five investor-owned utilities to offer net metering to all electric customers. The policy allowed those customers to sell their excess power back to the utility at the same rate that the utility charged consumers for electricity. However, a bill approved by lawmakers in 2017 began phasing out net metering, ending in 2022. As a result, what customers could earn for feeding solar power back into the grid dropped by about 70%.

RPG Energy Group and Castillo Engineering were able to work together to successfully secure the necessary timelines, both regulatory and operational, to enable this 1.3 MW solar project to be metered into the retail grid. To meet net accounting deadlines, companies had to submit interconnection applications and receive approvals within six months of the end of the program.

“We are thrilled with how this project has turned out,” said Al Bacon, vice president of operations and engineering at Endress+Hauser. “We had several companies bid for this installation and RPG Energy was the only one that was confident they could meet the tight timescales to achieve the net metering requirements, we went from an initial bid to eight months out. They provided great and timely support throughout the project.”

The project also has a net energy offset of 53% for the plant’s electricity demand. Endress+Hauser, a manufacturer of flowmeters for liquid, gas and steam systems, can now offset the production of thousands of flowmeters per year as a result of this solar energy system.

“We are grateful to have this additional opportunity to work alongside RPG to deliver significant long-term savings in this business,” said Castillo Engineering CEO Christopher Castillo. “RPG’s experience in industrial-scale, backyard solar projects was critical to the success of this project, which had two separate electrical services and meters that needed to be evaluated to maximize energy reimbursement and utility bill savings.”

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