Valparaiso has been named Indiana’s Green Project of the Year by Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (Aim) for the city’s solar power initiative. The award recognizes Indiana’s leading project for sustainable development, energy conservation and environmentally conscious decisions, the announcement said. The city says Valpo’s sustainable solar project added 772 solar panels to five city facilities, saving taxpayers more than $5.2 million in electrical costs over the life of the panels.
“We’re so pleased that this sustainable solar project has gained attention statewide and beyond, but we’re even more pleased to be able to share cost savings with our community,” said Valparaiso Mayor Matt Murphy. “As part of our commitment to efficiency, Valparaiso City Services has had its eye on solar power for years, awaiting the day when the technology, wattage and pricing reached a point where it made good environmental sense for the city. That day is now and this project is among several that are adding sustainability and cost savings for Valparaiso,” said Murphy.
Officials noted that as part of the Valpo’s commitment to efficiency and transparency, the city shares the energy data on TV screens located at city hall so visitors can see the electrical meter harvesting solar energy in real time. Visitors may even see times when the metering will move backwards as more energy is being generated than is being used in some facilities.
“The Valparaiso solar power initiative is a perfect example of how municipal leaders can make a difference in global efforts to deliver public services more efficiently. I particularly appreciate the city’s transparency by offering real-time data, visible to anyone visiting city hall. I think this project is something other cities and towns will review to see if it can be replicated in their communities,” said Aim CEO Matt Greller. Learn more about the completed project at tinyurl.com/ValpoSolar .