The Indianapolis International Airport (IND) has received recognition for using airport land to help build a sustainable community. The IND Solar Farm won a 2015 Indianapolis Sustainability Award from the city at a ceremony in downtown Indianapolis Thursday evening with Mayor Greg Ballard. IND has the largest solar farm of any airport in the world and it will generate enough electricity to power 3200 average homes.
The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability created the awards to inspire innovation, showcase impact, reward leadership and promote education around the principles of sustainability. It honors excellence in three categories: social, economic and environmental sustainability. The IND Solar Farm won the environmental category award. The Solar Farm is a partnership that includes the Indianapolis Airport Authority, Telamon Corp, Johnson Melloh Solutions and Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL).
“The Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) Board is committed to preparing our airport for the future,” said IAA board president, Michael Wells. “We want to use our land to be a good neighbor to our surrounding communities and to be a leader for Central Indiana in protecting our environment and using our natural resources.”
“It is very gratifying to have our sustainability efforts acknowledged by the Mayor and the city of Indianapolis,” said IAA executive director Mario Rodriguez. “I’m proud to be part of a team of excellent partners who came together and found a way to take acres of airport land and repurpose them into a viable producer of clean energy for future generations. It’s a great way to serve our community.”
The IND Solar farm currently occupies over 161 acres of airport-owned “buffer” land. When phase three is completed later this year, an additional 22 acres of land will be added to the project. Together, all three phases will utilize over 87,000 solar panels.
Each phase of the IND Solar Farm was designed, constructed and is operated with private funds. No public or airport funding is attached to the project.