FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- There are now 216 solar panels on top of the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne building which will help deliver a portion of the energy needed to run the facility.
Thanks to the initiative, they are now the largest solar powered energy system in the city.
Joe Jordan with the Boys & Girls Club says he didn’t think something like this was possible for the building, but says it’s the right move for the future and sets a good example for the next generation.
"As we look at our environment and the things we have done, and have not done, that caused our environment to be in kind of jeopardy. I thought that it was just the right project," Jordan said.
Now thanks to the solar panels, they’re saving up to 40% on the electricity bill. Even on cloudy days, the system produces at up to 50% ability.
Doug Ahlfeld with Renewable Energy Systems in Avilla approached Jordan about the idea to go after the $140,000 I&M grant that ultimately made the project possible. He says their ultimate goal is to at least double the club’s savings.
"We’re looking at the benefactors who normally serve with Boys & Girls Club to expand this in the future so they can do up to 90 to 95% of their bill using solar," Ahlfeld said,
Jordan says that savings from electricity, part of his biggest overhead costs, will go right back into the community they serve.
"Utility costs is a huge cost for any entity, particularly a building of 43,000 square foot size, so this cost savings will help us focus more of our finances towards kids, towards programming, towards making sure that we are enhancing the opportunity to build kids," Jordan said.
The program will also have an education component to it, giving kids the chance to learn about how solar energy works via small projects.
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry was at the announcement this afternoon, applauding the efforts made by the Boys & Girls Club and mentioned he wants to try and do what Boys & Girls Club has done and move city government buildings to renewable energy in the future.