Indiana American Water Company today joined Gary Deputy Mayor Trent McCain, community leaders and project partners at a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate completion of new $600,000 solar array at its northwest Indiana distribution center in Gary, Ind. The project will provide enough power to meet the energy needs of the company’s facility at this location and will also abate more than 200 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
“This project is a great example of our commitment to incorporating efficiency and sustainability components into our operations and facilities,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine. “Over the last several years, we have already significantly reduced our electrical usage and carbon footprint by constructing several LEED certified facilities, replacing many of our older pumps with variable frequency drives that adjust pumping levels based on demand, and implementing other electrical and water efficiency measures at our facilities across the state.
“This project not only benefits the environment, but in the long run also benefits our customers by reducing our operating costs and keeping water rates more affordable,” said Prine. “This new solar array will generate nearly 300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually and produce approximately $1 million in savings over the next 25 years.”
The Gary solar energy project is the second one for Indiana American Water. Another solar array was placed in service in 2017 in Newburgh, Ind. American Water maintains a portfolio of alternative energy supplies across the country to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions, including solar, wind and biomass facilities.
The vast majority of energy consumed by water utilities is used to pump water. American Water’s path to reduced energy consumption and resiliency is driven by using water more efficiently. In 2021, American Water added two new goals regarding Water Efficiency and Water Resiliency and is on track to meet both targets. By 2035, the company goal is to reduce the amount of water delivered per customer by 15 percent, compared to a 2015 baseline. Over the past five years, American Water has accomplished a 4.3 percent reduction in water delivered per customer. Also, by 2030, the company will have improved its water system resiliency by increasing its Utility Resilience Index weighted average by 10 percent, from a 2020 baseline. By continuing to improve energy and water efficiency, system resiliency, as well as increasing procurement of renewable energy, and increasing its alternative-fuel fleet, the company continues to make progress.
The Gary solar energy project was designed and constructed through a collaborative partnership with Sweney Electric of Gary, Ind. and Night & Day Solar in Collinsville, Ill.