SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Inovateus Solar recently completed three solar projects for Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). The projects, which are the utility’s first solar installations, include a ground-mount solar array at NIPSCO’s Merrillville, IN headquarters. Consistent with NIPSCO’s steps toward a more sustainable energy future, Inovateus Solar achieved zero-waste construction by recycling equipment packaging and avoiding any construction waste being sent to landfills.

A 120 kilowatt, alternating current (kWac) array with 432 solar panels was installed at NIPSCO’s Merrillville headquarters and will generate 216,958 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean power annually. Another 100 kWac system with 360 panels was installed at the energy company’s LaPorte local operating office, and a similar-sized system was installed at their Valparaiso local operating office. Each of those projects will produce 181,841 kWh of solar power per year. In total, the three installations will provide enough carbon-free power to offset the equivalent of planting over 10,000 pine trees each year they are in service.

NIPSCO recently announced plans to retire all of its remaining coal-fired electric generating stations by 2028 and replacing them with less expensive, cleaner energy. To meet NIPSCO’s zero-waste objectives, John Gulanick, Inovateus Solar’s Director of Project Management and Deputy Director of Operations, would often personally transport the day’s construction waste materials to regional recycling centers.

“We’re proud of these projects for two reasons,” said Tyler Kanczuzewski, Inovateus’ Vice President of Marketing and Sustainability. “First, many of our employees are NIPSCO customers, so they, their families, and the entire Northern Indiana community are now benefiting from NIPSCO’s transition to cleaner resources to save energy and money. Second, these are our company’s first zero-waste solar projects. Thanks to John and his team, it was a great success, and we intend to continue the practice for our customers.”

To ensure that the sites would have zero-waste construction, Inovateus Solar collected all packaging, metal and plastic bands, cardboard, excess plastic conduit, scrap wire, and wooden pallets. In total, Inovateus Solar’s sustainability efforts prevented approximately 3.7 tons of construction waste going to Indiana landfills. All debris was sorted and taken to a recycling center or compost facility except for two small pine trees.

Rather than composting the two pine trees, Inovateus replanted them outside the solar company’s offices. Kanczuzewski said the trees would become a visual and growing reminder of Inovateus’ commitment to sustainable solar development and investing in the energy future of its customers.