Vigo County, Indiana Installs Solar Power

Outcomes and Conclusions

In 2018, energy production from the solar panels offset 16,372 pounds of carbon, saving the equivalent of almost 9,000 pounds of coal. The solar panels produced 11,500 kWh for the building in 2018, which amounts to more than $1,000 in savings. Vigo County is able to track these and other metrics through the EnPhase Energy program, which was installed with the solar panels. The Vigo County Highway Department has taken advantage of the solar generators during power outages, allowing for roads to remain open and managed. In Vigo County, roads see increased use during outages.


The project manager did not identify any challenges or barriers during this project but did mention that having a supportive board was key to their solar success. The Vigo County Solid Waste Management District is a technically a nonprofit with a board comprised of three county commissioners, the mayor of the largest city in the county, a member of the largest city’s council, and a member of the county council. Vigo County’s board was very supportive of sustainable design and solar power for this project.

Lessons Learned

Director of Solid Waste, Kathy Kinney, who managed the solar installation project, stated, "We planned for expanding the solar array, and we should have planned for expansion of electricity needs in the building. If I had to do it all over again, I would have increased the overall electricity capacity and upgraded the wiring in the initial building design. For example, I would have adjusted from single to three phase power.”