The last net-metered project in Indiana

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Reimagined Power Guidance Energy Group (RPG) partnered with Florida-based Castillo Engineering to build a PV model meant to power automation and instrumentation manufacturing company Endress+Hauser’s measuring and control devices in Greenwood, Ind. Constructed with bifacial solar panels and ballasted racking, the project is expected to save Endress+Hauser $140,000 in operational costs in the first year.

The instrumentation manufacturer produces flow meters for liquid, gas and steam systems, and this project is expected to help Endress+Hauser offset the production of thousands of flow meters annually. 

That savings in energy and cost is due to the company’s adherence to a six-month deadline to meet specific regulatory and operational guidelines that exempted them from Indiana’s 2017 law that revoked net-metering. They had to apply for and receive permission to connect to Indiana’s utility grid from local utility companies within six months of finishing construction.

“We knew we could trust Castillo Engineering’s extensive expertise to help us meet the tight timeline for delivery of both the electrical engineering for interconnection and structural feasibility analysis required for construction,” said vice president of Design and Engineering at RPG Energy Group, Colton Cooper.  

From 2004 to 2017, residential and commercial PV system owners could, through net metering, sell their unused solar at the end of each month to utility companies at the same rate those businesses charged them for electricity. Another option was re-generating unused power month to month indefinitely on a credit-based system. 

Al Bacon, vice president of Operations and Engineering at Endress+Hauser, said RPG was the only company that could meet tight deadlines for achieving the net metering requirement that afforded them such savings. “We went from initial proposal to completion in eight months,” he said. 

The new bill cuts what customers could have earned selling back excess solar power to utility companies by 70%. “The rates are so unpalatable that only two Northern Indian Public Service Company (NIPSCO) customers have installed rooftop solar since July 1, 2022,” said Ben Inskeep, program director at Citizens Action Coalition (CAC). The company is reported to serve more than 1.2 million customers worldwide. 

“We are grateful to have had this additional opportunity to work alongside RPG to deliver substantial long-term savings to this business,” said Christopher Castillo, CEO of Castillo Engineering. “RPG’s expertise in industrial scale, behind-the-meter solar projects was crucial in the success of this project, which had two separate electrical services and meters that had to be assessed to maximize energy offset and utility bill savings.”

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