June 17, 2020
Solar first: Purdue Research Park company completes bifacial solar array for downtown Valparaiso’s Vale View development
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Emergent Solar Energy, a Purdue University-affiliated company, has announced the completion and operation of a 40.33 kilowatt (kW) bifacial roof-mount solar energy system for Wayne Enterprises’ new downtown Valparaiso Vale View facility.
This is the most recent addition to the Wayne Enterprise development portfolio and adding solar power to the roof of the building was another step in the company’s long-term vision of lowering its carbon footprint and offering a clean energy solution to its residents.
“The system is expected to generate approximately 50,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually, which will significantly reduce the building’s energy costs,” said Jeremy Lipinski, managing partner at Emergent. “With the use of bifacial solar modules, the solar panels have ability to generate power from the backside of the module, as opposed to just the front with standard panels. This increase in solar production offered from bifacial technology will improve the power output by up to 15% over mono modules.”
Purdue researchers have been studying bifacial solar panels and have developed a formula to measure the increased power production, which is helping design more efficient and higher-producing solar projects.
“The Vale View solar project in Valparaiso, Indiana, is the state’s first designed with these types of panels. We had decided to put solar on the Vale View development from nearly the beginning, and we were convinced that it was the right economic decision for the project,” said Matthew Welter, CEO of Wayne Enterprises. “From a community standpoint, being a leader in our community is a something I take seriously. And being a leader in instituting renewable energy is something exciting for Valparaiso. Solar aligns with our goal of improving the value we provide for our residents and being a more sustainable organization.”
“Wayne Enterprises made solar their first choice for lowering its operational costs,” Lipinski said. “When I saw the roof plan for the Vale View project and I realized that the surface membrane was white, I immediately saw the opportunity to design and build this array with bifacial solar modules.
“The use of these bifacial solar panels will significantly increase the array’s power production, and this will have positive affect on the project’s economics. With solar, Wayne Enterprises is able to reduce the amount of energy it needs to buy from the utility and minimizes its exposure to increasing energy costs while it continues to expand its operations in Valparaiso.”
Throughout the project life cycle, Lipinski said, the system is expected to generate enough emissions-free, clean energy to offset nearly 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of offsetting emissions from 3 million miles driven or the amount sequestered by more than 1,400 acres of U.S. forests.
About Purdue Research Foundation
The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park, Purdue Technology Centers and University Development Office. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at email@example.com. For more information about setting up a presence at Purdue, possibly in the Purdue Research Park or Discovery Park District, contact the PRF Economic Development Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Emergent Solar Energy
Emergent Solar Energy is one of the leading commercial solar construction firms in the state of Indiana. Headquartered at Purdue Research Park, in West Lafayette, Indiana, the company provides solar solutions to the commercial and industrial, municipal and agricultural sectors across the state of Indiana. Emergent Solar seeks to bring renewable energy to the communities it serves and to help organizations gain energy independence while achieving their sustainability and stewardship goals.