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Indiana's First Photovoltaic SolarSave Project Funded by State's Energy Program Grant Completed

Life Quality Systems, LLC (a Green Energy Collaborative Partner) brings its solar energy design expertise to Indiana's first privately owned building integrated commercial solar tile project assisted by Indiana's energy grant program. The project, a state of the art dental center located in the city of Connersville, Indiana -- The Christie Family Dentistry -- featuring some of the most technologically advanced dental equipment, will now be the first in the state to be powered by solar energy with this newly installed 20-kilowatt solar roof. This 20-kilowatt system will be one of the largest photovoltaic projects in Indiana and will provide up to one-half of the facility's power requirements. This will be the first solar installation in Indiana to utilize solar roof tiles instead of standard panels. Dr. Tom Christie took advantage of the state's Alternative Power and Energy Grant Program by applying for and receiving $24,097 to offset project costs. The first of its kind project will be publicly showcased and celebrated during a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 18, with Connersville Mayor Max Ellison and Indiana Office of Energy & Defense Development Communications Director Eric Burch present.

Nationwide statistics show 60 percent of all energy consumed is attributable to the construction and operation of buildings. According to the Indiana Office of Energy and Defense, 75 percent of Indiana's energy expenditures leave the state in exchange for out of state coal, natural gas and oil products. Petroleum has increased by 50 percent in the past two years while natural gas prices have increased 50 percent in just one year. This facility demonstrates how energy conservation has a practical application in today's building industry.

"Dr. Christie understands the need for home-grown energy and reducing the dependence on outside sources for energy," said Rosario J. Milana, president of Life Quality Systems, LLC, founder of the Green Energy Collaborative, and the Midwest distributor for SolarSave Tiles, the entity working with local contractors to bring more green energy initiatives to the region. "Solar energy not only works on the West coast. Our goal is to educate the public that solar energy is a viable option throughout the nation and to further alternative energy awareness. We need more people like Dr. Christie and more state initiatives such as Indiana's Alternative Power and Energy Grant Program to help make a difference that not only benefits the environment today, but positively impacts globally the environment we live in the future."

The Photovoltaic roof tile system being installed gives the facility a 576 SolarSave Roof Tile surface that accommodates the 20-kilowatt system. Manufactured by Open Energy Corporation, the SolarSave Tiles will produce an estimated 25,000 kilowatt-hours of power annually. This solar installation will produce an estimated annual savings of $1,900 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 16 metric tons per year. This is the equivalent of eliminating over 32,000 driving miles or 37 barrels of oil every year.

"I believe environmental responsibility starts with the individual, and I'm doing what I feel like I can," said Dr. Christie whose facility is located at 2628 Western Avenue in Connersville, Indiana. "We have to start looking at our environmental impact and I felt like reducing our greenhouse gas emissions was the first step. Fortunately, Indiana's Power and Energy Grant was a great way to get started and we had great people to work with in the community including Powell's Plumbing and Electric, Chomel & Sons Roofing and Duke Energy. I'm excited that our office can be a leader in Connersville, and in the state, for better, greener energy."

Indiana's Alternative Power and Energy Grant Program provides cost share grants to Indiana's public, non-profit, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors for the purchase and installation of alternative energy systems. These systems include solar electric and solar thermal, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, Waste-to-energy systems using fluidized bed, plasma arc or gasification technology, Fuel cells and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems.

The program is administered by the Indiana Office of Energy & Defense Development (OED). OED is responsible for the creation and implementation of Indiana's strategic energy plan, Hoosier Homegrown Energy. The plan promotes the use of homegrown renewable energy sources, in order to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources, and grow jobs for Hoosiers.

Nationwide, State and Federal Agencies provide grant funding and tax credits that make Photovoltaic systems financially viable. By taking advantage of the grant and tax assistance programs available, Dr. Christie will be able to see a financial payback of this SolarSave installation to occur in as few as five years. Additional programs will allow for the generation of residual income, which will create further financial benefits for the life of the system.

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