Approval for city solar plan makes way for infrastructure changes

Lucas Hickey, Co-Editor

After years of bouncing around the pipes of municipal government, a plan to integrate solar power into city buildings has been given the all clear. The project, planned by the Bloomington Redevelopment Commision, is estimated to spend almost a million dollars on solar panels and other infrastructure that will help power local government buildings. The listed sites for improvement include the police department, animal shelter and City Hall. This project is more than just a change in energy sources, it is the beginning of a micro-grid that would provide auxiliary power for government buildings in the case of a power outage. There is also talk of allowing citizens to buy solar panels in bulk with the city which would save money over buying the panels specifically for residential uses.

Beyond physical infrastructure improvements, the project represents much more for our city. The project “would send a message to the community, to the state, that Bloomington, Indiana, really is getting behind solar,” Loren Stumpner said to the Herald Times. Stumpner is a supervisor at Stumpner’s Building Services, one of two companies who helped to install solar panels on City Hall.

The project is expected to save the city about $10,000 a year with construction estimated to be finished in late 2017- early 2018.