The Boys & Girls Club, 2609 Fairfield Ave., now has the largest solar energy system in the city.
The 83,000-watt solar energy system on the roof of the new building was funded by a SunforAll grant for nonprofit organizations funded by the AEP Foundation/Indiana Michigan Power to provide renewable energy to organizations that serve low income businesses, households or individuals.
The Boys and Girls Clubs’ $140,000 award was the largest among the overall $4 million given in the state of Indiana. The system provides over one-third of the electrical use of the facility and was installed by local solar contractor Renewable Energy Systems LLC, based in Avilla.
Eric Hesher, president of Renewable Energy Systems, LLC said in an announcement, "Our goal is to provide a quality, cost effective system that will help area businesses and homeowners reduce electric costs for years to come."
The club installation consists of 216 375-watt bifacial solar panels that are connected to inverters that convert the DC power from the panels to AC power running all the lights, air conditioners and other electrical loads in the building. Further expansion of the system can handle 90-95% of all the electrical usage at the facility. Boys and Girls Club President and CEO Joe Jordan said in the announcement, "We hope this is just the first step in making the facility more energy efficient.”
Renewable Energy Systems LLC is an energy company that designs and builds industrial, commercial, and residential systems. Since 2008, the company has served Fort Wayne and surrounding areas providing reliable, clean solar power. The company is located near Avilla and can be found on the internet at www.res-midwest.com.
The AEP Foundation is funded by American Electric Power and its utility operating units, including Indiana Michigan Power. The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math and the environment and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger.
Indiana Michigan Power is headquartered in Fort Wayne and its 2,450 employees serve more than 593,900 customers. More than half of its generation is emission-free, including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, 22 MW of hydrogeneration in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,600 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.
The Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne is a nonprofit organization that provides structured afterschool programs to hundreds of children and teens every day that emphasize academic success, good character, citizenship and healthy lifestyles. Each year, nearly 3,000 school-aged boys and girls attend life-changing programs at one of five club locations in Fort Wayne.