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Some “Solarize” Projects Unable To Meet Demand For Panel Installations

By Sophia Saliby, IPB News | Published on in Business, Environment, Statewide News
A new law decreases the amount utility companies are required to pay for excess energy being produced by sources like rooftop solar panels. — Photo: James Gray (WFIU/WTIU News)

“Solarize” groups have spent the summer talking to Hoosiers about the benefits of switching to solar energy now, before a state law decreasing the financial incentives goes into effect.  Now, that deadline is creating too high of a demand in some locations.

In Bloomington, more than 250 people sent letters of intent to buy and install solar panels to the local “Solarize” initiative.  But contractors will only be able to fulfill about 25 of those contracts by the end of the year.

Alex Crowley, the Bloomington Economic and Sustainable Development Director, says there will still be financial benefits of solar panels next year.

“It’s really rough, and I understand people’s expectations were not met if they were not able to get their installation this year, but again, I would strongly encourage people to make that investment even if they’re installing next year,” he says.

Legislators passed a law this year that decreases the amount utility companies are required to pay for excess energy being produced by sources like rooftop solar panels.  But that law doesn’t take effect until January.  If panels are installed before December 31, they maintain their eligibility for higher reimbursement rates for 30 years.

Bloomington’s partner in the project, the Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network, or SIREN, said in a statement that they were already oversubscribed six weeks into their partnership with the city.

Its solar contractor, Third Sun Solar, is the same one Solarize East Central Indiana used in its push for new solar panel owners.  Contracts for panels in east central Indiana are to be turned in by September 15.