11 Jul 2023
Castillo Engineering and RPG Energy Group, a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy integrator, announced that they have completed a 1.3 MW behind-the-meter solar project in Indiana, the last net metered project in the state. Located in Greenwood, the project utilizes bifacial solar panels and ballasted racking, and will provide operational savings of $140,000 for Endress+Hauser, an automation and instrumentation manufacturing company, in the first year alone.
“After successfully partnering with Castillo Engineering on a solar project for the world’s largest tool company, we knew we could trust their extensive expertise to help us meet the tight timeline for delivery of both the electrical engineering for interconnection and structural feasibility analysis required for this project,” said Colton Cooper, Vice President of Design and Engineering at RPG Energy Group. “Together we were able to ensure that this project was completed on time - all while providing significant savings to our customer.”
Finding ways to provide solar energy customers with savings through site optimization is more important than ever in Indiana, which recently phased out net metering. Since 2004, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission had required the state’s five investor-owned utility companies to offer net metering to all electric customers. The policy allowed those customers to sell their excess energy back to utilities at the same rate utilities charged customers for electricity. However, a bill approved by legislators in 2017 started to phase out net metering, with the official end date recently having taken place. As a result, what customers could have earned for selling solar power back to the grid dropped by around 70%.
RPG Energy Group and Castillo Engineering were able to work efficiently together to successfully meet the necessary deadlines - both regulatory and operational, to enable this 1.3 MW solar project to be grandfathered in for retail net metering. In order to meet the net metering deadlines, the companies had to submit the interconnection application and receive approvals within six months of project completion.
“We are thrilled with how this project went,” said Al Bacon, Vice President of Operations and Engineering at Endress+Hauser. “We had several companies bid on this installation and RPG Energy was the only one that was confident they could meet the tight deadlines for achieving the net metering requirement, we went from initial proposal to completion in eight months. They have provided great and timely support throughout the entire project.”
In addition to meeting the strict deadlines to enable this manufacturing company to have its solar system grandfathered in to receive retail net metering, the project also resulted in 53 percent net energy offset of the plant. The instrumentation manufacturer customer, which produces flow meters for liquid, gas and steam systems, can now offset the production of thousands of flow meters per year as a result of this solar energy system.
“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 at 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.”
Castillo Engineering | castillope.com