To start, the County connected with One Planet Solar based in Terre Haute, Indiana. The company led a lunch-and-learn on solar basics so the County could make informed decisions about how many panels to plan for and how much power they could expect. In the end, the project called for a design grid-tie system using in-phase micro-inverters and fifty 290-watt solar panels that have a 25-year warranty. Since the Vigo County Solid Waste Management District is a nonprofit, they were not able to take advantage of most of Indiana’s incentives, such as the 30% Business Energy Investment Tax Credit at the time of the building’s construction.
The 2,400 square-foot pole barn style building was designed in-house, and includes two offices, a conference room, a bathroom, a kitchen, and workspace. Due to spacing restrictions on the project’s land, the building is oriented east-west, as opposed to the preferred north-south for roof-top solar installations. The design minimized electrical load by incorporating radiant heating in the floor and eliminating all duct work. To increase resilience, the team added two solar-powered generators for use by government buildings and powering the Vigo County Solid Waste Management District’s critical load until utility services are restored.