An environmentally friendly apartment building in Valparaiso is the first in Indiana to use a double-sided solar panel to further reduce electric costs.
Vale View apartments, which was developed by Valparaiso-based Wayne Enterprises, hired Purdue-based Emergent Solar Energy to devise and install the 40-kilowatt system.
The solar company placed a bifacial roof-mounted energy system atop the downtown housing unit. The panels can generate power from the backside of the module, as opposed to just the front.
“The system is expected to generate approximately 50,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually, which will significantly reduce the building’s energy costs,” said Jeremy Lipinski, managing partner at Emergent. “This increase in solar production offered from bifacial technology will improve the power output by up to 15% over mono modules.”
Lipinkski said with the roof having a white surface membrane, he saw an opportunity to use the bifacial technology.
“We had decided to put solar on the Vale View development from nearly the beginning, and we were convinced that it was the right economic decision for the project,” said Matthew Welter, chief executive officer of Wayne Enterprises. “Solar aligns with our goal of improving the value we provide for our residents and being a more sustainable organization.”
In an article published on ValpoLife.com, Welter said the solar panels will generate enough power to supply all the commons areas, elevators and electric vehicle charging stations.
Lipinski said the system is expected to generate enough emissions-free, clean energy to offset nearly 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide during the life cycle of the panels. He said that is the equivalent of offsetting emissions from 3 million miles driven.