French Lick – Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (Aim) announced Valparaiso has been awarded an Aim Green Community of the Year for their solar power initiative. The city was honored with this award on Wednesday, August 23 during the Annual Awards Luncheon – presented by Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC, during the 2023 Aim Ideas Summit in French Lick.
As part of the city’s commitment to efficiency, Valparaiso installed 772 solar panels atop five city facilities, including three treatment plants, the city services building, and historic city hall. Inside of city hall, tv screens have been installed 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 solar panel project cost approximately $800,000 and is estimated to return more than $145,000 annually in electrical cost savings. According to these calculations, the panels will pay for themselves in just over six years and the total lifetime savings will be over $5 million.
“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.
Aim launched the Green Communities Initiative in 2008 in conjunction with Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC, to identify potential cost savings to communities facing budget shortfalls, promote economically competitive quality-of-life concepts, and ultimately serve as role models for citizens while better protecting our environment. The initiative has expanded educational opportunities for municipalities. Every year the program honors one outstanding project, which exemplifies the program’s ideals.
2023 Aim Ideas Summit
August 22-24, 2023
French Lick Resort
Attendance: 1,000 (pending final registration count)