Indianapolis is one of America’s top locations for solar – with more panels installed per person than any U.S. city but Honolulu.

John Haselden
IPL’s John Haselden

The secret to Indy’s success? The city’s electric power utility – IPL – began offering customers a lucrative deal back in 2010: if you sold renewable energy back to the power grid, IPL would pay you a high rate per kilowatt hour for 15 years.

Called “feed-in tariffs,” the payments encouraged customers to install solar. IPL’s John Haselden says the idea took off after generous tax credits were instituted as part of the federal stimulus package.

The program was a success with larger companies. They installed big systems and gave the city a jump in solar.

However, IPL no longer offers new feed-in tariff contracts, and federal tax credits are being reduced.

So Haselden says the next step is getting average citizens to go solar. It’s a challenge, since a large percentage of the city’s population rents their homes.

HASELDEN: “It’s very difficult for them to invest in solar when they don’t own the property it’s sitting on.”

What’s the No. 2 U.S. city for per capita solar? Surprise! It’s Indianapolis. Click To Tweet

Haselden hopes Indianapolis will find new ways, such as community solar projects, to stay at the top of the clean energy curve.

Reporting credit: Justin Bull/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Courtesy of Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL).

More Resources
Photovoltaic Solar Resource of the United States
How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America
Indianapolis Power and Light Incentivizes Solar Installations
How Indianapolis (of All Places) Became a Solar Powerhouse

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