Financial Package makes Solar Power Affordable

INDIANAPOLIS – Energy Solutions by JMS’ egg-beater-style wind generators are already catching the eye of thousands of people who travel I-465 on the southwest side of Indianapolis each day, and soon one of the largest solar farms in the city will be visible as well.

Energy Solutions started construction in January to expand its demonstration site for new developments in renewable energy. The expansion is adding a 100-kilowatt solar array at 5925 Stockberger Place, which will be one of the largest solar farms in Indianapolis. The demonstration site is part of the company’s initiative to design and build solar arrays in Indiana and market them throughout the U.S.

Nick Melloh, president of Energy Solutions, is committed to supporting Indiana companies and creating and preserving Indiana jobs.  Said Melloh, “We are partnering with NuSun, Inc. of Columbus, which will help them create the 240 new jobs they announced in December.  We also are working with local banks for financing options and with Tuttle Aluminum in Fishers for hardware and racking.”

Energy Solutions was formed in 2009 by Schmidt Associates, a full-service architecture and engineering firm, and Johnson-Melloh, a mechanical contractor.  The renewable energy demonstration site is at Johnson-Melloh’s location.

“Many of our customers in the K-12 and higher education markets have inquired about renewable energy sources in the last few years,“ said Melloh.  “So we did our homework for 18 months, including testing wind and solar installations at our site.  We concluded solar is currently the best long-term solution for our customers.”

Energy Solutions is investing in the larger solar array to prove the products the company sells are a good long-term financial decision: “Having a financial model that makes sense for our own company makes it easy to tell our own story to customers and feel very good about recommending solar to them,” said Melloh.

Although solar energy has been around for decades, Energy Solutions’ solar array product is more affordable now because of tax credits and other incentives and it uses new generation solar technology.

“After a lot of research, we partnered with NuSun Solar because they are committed to making a high quality, high efficiency panel using the highest grade silicon,” said Melloh.

Energy Solutions expects the new renewable energy product line to retain existing jobs that otherwise may have been lost to poor economic conditions for its member firms Johnson-Melloh and Schmidt Associates and to add jobs in the foreseeable future to handle the load for committed solar installations already in the pipeline.

“While we love helping our environment along the way, the renewable energy momentum will create much-needed jobs in Indiana,” Melloh said.

Energy Solutions is marketing the new solar arrays to K-12 school districts and commercial and university prospects in Indiana — and has fielded inquiries from as far away as Florida, California, Baja Mexico and several Caribbean Island nations.

“There’s a lot of interest right now in alternative energy sources,” said Ron Fisher, a vice president of Energy Solutions. “This can be a way for cash-strapped school districts to save teaching jobs by reducing long-term operating costs and to increase sustainability at the same time.”

A 100-kilowatt solar array such as the one under construction can produce enough energy to power 12 average US homes – or about one-third of the power needed for an elementary school.  Arrays can be built larger or smaller to meet capacity requirements.

Construction on the expanded solar farm will be completed by spring.

ABOUT ENERGY SOLUTIONS BY JMS: Energy Solutions by JMS was formed in 2009 by Schmidt Associates, a full-service architecture and engineering firm, and Johnson-Melloh, a mechanical contractor. Energy Solutions by JMS designs and constructs energy-efficient systems, offering: systems engineering; management of design-build projects; building optimization; certification for LEED, Energy Star and Green Globes; analysis for renewable resources; alternative funding assistance and 24-hour mechanical service.