Green for Green – Big Investments to Enhance Sustainability

Green for Green – Big Investments to Enhance Sustainability

Judging by the amount of investments into sustainable projects that have been announced this year, it’s clear there must be a strong ROI and other incentives for going green – not to mention the benefits to the environment. Indiana’s portfolio of green infrastructure is going to get a huge boost in 2018 and many of the projects have already begun.

 

DePauw University Investing $40M to Cut Emissions by 28%
Putnam County

DePauw University’s campus in Greencastle.

DePauw University is investing $40 million to significantly reduce the university’s carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency and fund new and enhanced residential living space. The new plan will reportedly save an estimated $750,000 annually in energy expenditures and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 28%.

The investment includes $12 million to fund new HVAC technology, upgrade heat and water delivery systems, provide LED lighting throughout campus, and a plan to install DePauw’s first array of solar panels. DePauw will also convert its heating system to natural gas from steam, which contributes to 43% of the university’s energy usage, according to Warren Whitesell, associate vice president for facilities management.

“These new systems will also utilize less electricity, which costs five times as much and produces more greenhouse gases than natural gas. Locally, electricity is primarily sourced from coal, which is more harmful to the environment than other energy sources,” Whitesell said.

Ecosystem, a firm based in Quebec, Ontario that specializes in complex, interconnected energy systems that increase efficiencies and drive out waste, will work with DePauw to design and implement the plan. The energy plans, and other projects the university is undertaking, will be implemented through tax-exempt financing secured from BMO Harris Banking.

“With interest rates still historically low, the timing is good for investments that will help DePauw achieve a long-term, sustainable campus and a thriving living-learning community,” said Bob Leonard, vice president for finance and administration.

 

Indiana American Water’s Major Upgrades, $45M and $23M
Wayne and Delaware Counties

 

Officials from the city of Richmond and Indiana American Water break ground on the $45 million water treatment project. Pictured are (l to r) Brandon Thomas, Rick Thomas Masonry; Rick Thomas, Rick Thomas Masonry; Eric Bursott, River City Construction; Richard Miller, senior design engineer, Indiana American Water; David Laliberte, Hazen & Sawyer; Stacy Hoffman, director of engineering, Indiana American Water; State Senator Jeff Raatz, District 27; Deborah Dewey, president, Indiana American Water; Richmond Mayor Dave Snow; Doug Brock, VP of Operations, Indiana American Water; Wade Amos, eastern & central Indiana director of operations, Indiana American Water; Jeffrey Locke, Richmond City Council.

Indiana American Water has been making major investments to its water treatment facilities in several different cities throughout the state this year. Just a few weeks ago, the company broke ground on a $45 million upgrade the Richmond water treatment facility and earlier in the year the company began work on a $23 million upgrade in Muncie.

The $45 million project in Richmond includes construction of a new water treatment facility to replace the existing one located near Middlefork Reservoir on the city’s northeast side. The new facility will improve water quality and help the company to meet new, more stringent water quality regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, reduce disinfection by-products in the finished drinking water, and enhance plant safety.

“While we have continued to upgrade our infrastructure over the years in this community, these investments will help us to take our water quality, service and reliability to a new level of excellence,” said Indiana American Water President Deborah Dewey.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. Hazen & Sawyer and River City Construction are designing and constructing the new facilities.

In Muncie, the utility firm has begun the second phase of construction on the city’s water treatment facility. The $23 million project will replace the existing White River intake and antiquated and obsolete raw water pumping facilities.

A new chemical building that is being constructed as part of the project will further enhance safety at the water treatment plant by incorporating safer and more robust chemical containment and storage features.

A new raw water pump station is also being constructed to improve system reliability by replacing pumps and electrical equipment that, in many instances, have been in service for more than a half-century. The facility will be moved from its existing location to a slightly higher elevation, removing it from the 100-year flood zone for the White River and making it less susceptible to outages and damage from flooding.

This project is also expected to be completed by the end of 2019. The design team of Gannett Fleming and Reynolds Construction is designing and constructing the new facilities.

 

Partnership Developing Indiana’s Largest Solar Array So Far
Randolph County

Preliminary plans and purchase agreements are in place between two organizations that have partnered together to bring what will become the state’s largest solar energy array to life. Bloomington-based Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative and global energy company EDP Renewables (EDPR) are working together to establish 200 MW Riverstart Solar Park in Randolph County.

The solar park is expected to be operational in 2022 and will be the largest solar array in the state, producing enough clean electricity to power approximately 37,000 households. The project will also bring economic benefits to the region and to the state of Indiana in the form of jobs, landowner and tax payments, and money spent in local communities.

Financial details of the purchase were not disclosed, but once it’s complete the project will reportedly increase Indiana’s current cumulative solar capacity by more than 70%.

This commitment by Hoosier Energy will benefit 18-consumer owned electric cooperatives in central and southern Indiana and southeast Illinois that serve more than 300,000 homes, farms, and businesses. Under the PPA, Hoosier Energy will receive all energy from the solar park for 20 years.

“The Riverstart Solar Park will provide an economical source of renewable energy for the next two decades and is a great fit for our members’ long-term needs,” noted Hoosier Energy CEO Steve Smith. “We appreciate the relationship we have with EDPR and look forward to working with them to make this project a success.”

“EDP Renewables is pleased to advance our partnership with Hoosier Energy and to diversify our renewable energy portfolio in Indiana with the addition of the Riverstart Solar Park,” said João Manso Neto, EDP Renewables CEO.

“Our company looks forward to bringing more clean, low-cost energy to consumers served by Hoosier Energy member cooperatives,” added Miguel Ángel Prado, EDP Renewables North America CEO.

Through this agreement, EDPR will further increase its renewable energy footprint in Indiana. To date, EDPR has more than 800 MW of operational wind in the state and will have another 200 MW wind farm online by the end of 2018 in Benton County.