EEI > Delivering The Future
Powering Your Life from 93 Million Miles Away
March 2016

​What do the Indianapolis International Airport and Walt Disney World have in common? They both will be revolutionized through innovative uses of solar energy—and they’re not alone.

Indianapolis Power & Light Company: Solar Generation & Battery Storage

The Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) is giving Indiana residents a first look at the growing importance of solar energy in our communities. At local sites (including the Indianapolis International Airport, the Maywood Solar Farm at the former Reilly Tar and Chemical site, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Solar Facility), IPL implemented solar technology that is highly accessible to the public. IPL forged regional and national partnerships on the design and execution of these projects, bringing environmental benefits to the community, as well as education and awareness about how solar technologies work. IPL customers will soon also benefit from battery storage technology that will allow them to continue to receive the solar power generated by these projects even when the sun isn’t shining.

Duke Energy: Walt Disney World

Solar energy can now be found in homes and businesses across the country—and, most recently, at least one major theme park in Orlando, Florida. By Spring 2016, Duke Energy plans to complete a solar energy plant in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head to supply energy to Walt Disney World. This plant will supply 5 megawatts of solar energy to Walt Disney World: approximately the same amount of energy that would be generated from 720 residential rooftop solar panels. This is an exciting project that achieves multiple goals:

  • Builds upon Duke Energy’s previous investments in renewable energy and commitment to investing in solar.
  • Responds to Duke Energy’s growing customer demand for solar options.
  • Creatively and prominently showcases the large-scale use of solar technology at the most ubiquitous theme park in the United States.

Public Service of New Mexico: Prosperity Energy Storage Project

New Mexico is helping the world learn how utilities can more effectively integrate renewable energy into their systems. Creating a first-in-the-nation initiative, Public Service of New Mexico (PNM) built a solar storage facility that is fully integrated into the power grid. Today, energy experts from around the globe continue to turn to PNM to review the important data the project has produced.
 
Smart grid technology, solar photovoltaic panels, and an energy storage system made up of two kinds of batteries come together to address the challenge of renewable energy reliability. One of the largest combinations of battery storage and photovoltaic energy in the nation, the system is linked to a sophisticated computer bank that collects up to 220 data points per second, proving that the term ‘smart’ is more than just a name for this environmentally friendly and innovative piece of technology.
 
With smart grid, solar, and storage technologies growing in popularity across the country, it will be exciting to see which states and utilities follow PNM and New Mexico’s lead and take solar energy storage to the next level.

Tucson Electric Power: Residential Solar Program

No installation costs, no maintenance costs, just an environmentally friendly solution that ensures stable, long-term energy prices. This is the attractive promise made by Tucson Electric Power (TEP) for its Residential Solar Program, which was approved in December 2014.

More than 4,000 customers have expressed interest in participating in TEP’s program—far exceeding the 500–600 homes TEP anticipated for 2015. Through the Residential Solar Program, TEP partners with local companies to install the TEP-owned rooftop systems at the homes of participating customers. As a result, this program is positive not only for the environment and for consumers, but for local businesses as well.