Housing Agency Installs Urban Solar Farm

After building one of Indianapolis’ most innovative residential green roofs, the Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) today announced the installation of a new 4,340 square foot urban solar farm at its Laurelwood residential community on the city’s near south side.

The urban solar farm at Laurelwood utilizes the community’s apartment buildings to house 248 solar panels that are affixed directly to the roofs of eight buildings. The solar panels are connected to coverter boxes, which capture the electricity generated and convert it to usable power that is returned to the existing power grid.

Through a partnerhsip with Indianapolis Power & Light Co. (IPL), IHA will sell the power generated by the solar panels directly to IPL for a rate of approximately $20,000 per year. The revenue from this sale of solar energy will be used by IHA to invest in existing communities, paying for maintenance and improvements.

“This is yet another example of IHA utilizing green technology to both benefit the environment and improve the lives of our residents,” said Rufus “Bud” Myers. “We hope to show through this program that our agency and our communities can be contributing partners in making Indianapolis more sustainable—all while generating critical revenue to reinvest in neighbohoods.”

The Laurelwood solar farm is funded, in part, by a pilot program from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. IHA has also partnered with private investors, including City Real Estate Advisors (CREA), to sell solar tax credits as part of the financing package.

Congressman, Andre Carson, who has been a vocal supporter of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and alternative energy, thinks the urban solar farm at Laurelwood is a step in the right direction for Indianapolis.

“This project is a critical first step towards an all-in energy approach—promoting solar, wind, and nuclear energy alongside the resources we are already using. This is an inspiring example of Hoosier ingenuity and innovation.”

Johnson Melloh Solutions, an Indianapolis-based renewable energy company, installed all 248 of the 240-watt Monocrystalline solar panels that comprise the project.

About IHA

The Indianapolis Housing Agency is the official governing body overseeing all public housing across the City of Indianapolis. IHA helps more than 7,600 families each year find and maintain high-quality, affordable housing opportunities through its ownership of 13 housing communities totaling more than 1,700 units.