[Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway press release]
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will expand its commitment to renewable energy and green initiatives by participating in a partnership with SunWize Technologies, Blue Renewable Energy, and the Indianapolis Power & Light Company to build a 25-acre solar farm on IMS property northeast of the track.
The IMS installation will be the largest solar-power system hosted at any sporting facility in the world, with 39,312 solar modules generating a total of 9.6 megawatts of power.
Construction of the ground-mounted system by San Jose, Calif.-based SunWize Technologies is scheduled to begin in May 2013, with an anticipated completion later this year. Construction will not interfere with any IMS racing events.
This commitment to solar generation at the Racing Capital of the World is equal to offsetting 10,288 tons of carbon annually.
Previous on-track green initiatives included the use of fuel-grade ethanol to power cars in the Indianapolis 500, E85 fuel powering NASCAR cars in the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard and the Emerging Tech Day during the Indianapolis 500, including the Purdue eV Grand Prix.
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was constructed over 100 years ago as a proving ground for new technologies in transportation and over the years it has seen various types of energy used to power race cars around the 2.5 mile oval,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and CEO. “As we have explored renewable energy options for the automobile, we also began to look at renewable energy options for the facility itself and we are pleased that a portion of IMS property will be used to generate solar power through this partnership.”
The solar farm is a significant private-public partnership among national and Central Indiana companies, all of which are committed to finding creative solutions to increasing sustainability by helping to increase sources of renewable energy generation.
SunWize Technologies, Inc., and Phoenix-based Blue Renewable Energy have co-developed the project, while Blue Renewable Energy has entered into a land-lease agreement with IMS to build the system on the property. The system will be designed, engineered and installed by SunWize Technologies. The system inverters, racking and wiring all will be made in the United States. Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) will be the system off-taker under the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement, subject to the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, and will own the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) produced by the solar power system.
“We have been co-developing this project with SunWize for over a year, and we are tremendously pleased with our accomplishments,” said Mike Lafferty, president of Blue Renewable Energy. “This project will really shine a spotlight on the significant environmental and social benefits of renewable energy. We are thrilled to partner with SunWize and the Speedway on a project that will continue to have a positive impact for years to come.”
“IPL is proud to be part of this project with IMS, the largest spectator sporting facility in the world and a global icon for Indianapolis and the state of Indiana,” said Ken Zagzebski, IPL president and CEO. “Solar generation plays a significant part of maintaining our leadership in renewable energy technologies, which also includes wind generation and plug-in electric vehicles.”
SunWize is working with Indianapolis-based Alpha Engineering Inc. on local interconnection standards and the IPL application process.
“We are honored to partner with both Blue Renewable Energy and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to design and build a system of this magnitude,” said David Kaltsas, SunWize president and chief operating officer. “Through the process of constructing the system, SunWize looks forward to providing the local community opportunities for renewable energy jobs.”