News & Updates All »

RAILROAD CROSSING CLOSURE: INDIANA AVENUE

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Railroad crossing at Indiana Avenue (CR 21) is closed until Saturday, Aug. 24, as Norfolk Southern works on repairs to the crossing. more

AUGUST BRUSH COLLECTION

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The August brush pickup will begin on Monday, August 26. During scheduled brush collections, the Street Department will make only one pass through the city to pick up brush. Residents are asked to have their brush by the front curb, but not in the street, by that first day in the morning at 7 a.m.... more

GROWING GOSHEN TOGETHER FALL SERIES ANNOUNCED

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Following a successful pilot community conversation in the spring, the Goshen Community Relations Commission (CRC) and Goshen Community Schools (GCS) will embark on a series of events in the next several months that will encourage discourse around topics that uniquely affect Goshen’s residents. A... more

Upcoming Events All »

Board of Public Works & Safety & Stormwater

Monday, August 26, 2019, 2:00pm

Shade Tree Board meeting

Monday, August 26, 2019, 7:00pm

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting

Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 4:00pm

Going Solar in Goshen

Solar Energy Resources

The City of Goshen is working to make it easier, faster and cheaper for residents, businesses and others to go solar through the SolSmart program, funded by the Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office

Solar Statement - Mayor Stutsman

"As Mayor of Goshen, I strongly support the use of solar and other forms of renewable energy in our community. To assist us in becoming more solar-friendly, I am pleased to announce the City of Goshen's participation in the SolSmart designation process." Read the entire Solar Statement here.  

Who Installs Solar?

The City of Goshen does not endorse or represent specific products or companies but are working to make it easier for residents to find solar contractors actively working in the area. To view the Solar Energy Contractor List, click here

How Do I Know I'm Getting a Fair Quote? 

Review the consumer protection resources to make sure you understand any quote or contract you are provided. These resources provide important questions to ask and describe the pros and cons of different ownership models.

Consumer Checklist, IREC

Residential Consumer Guide, SEIA

Guide to Land Leases, SEIA

How Do I Apply for a Solar Permit? 

Solar PV systems require approval from the City of Goshen Planning and Zoning Department and a permit from the Building Department. See the flow chart below to understand the process. If your system will be grid-tied, be sure to contact the electric utility, NIPSCO, before beginning the process with the City.

Solar PV Permit Process - Residential

General Permit Process - Commercial 

What Information Is Required to Apply for a Permit?

The Building Department has revised the permitting process to improve communication and distinguish between systems requiring simplified or standard review. See the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Permit Application Guidelines document to determine which information must be provided to the City for your system to receive a permit.

Solar PV Permit Application Guidelines

How Much Does a Solar Permit Cost?

For the latest version of the Permit Fee Schedule, visit the Building Department website here. To understand the fees that may be applicable to solar PV, view the memo here

What are the Zoning Code Requirements for Solar?

The zoning code was amended in 2017 to update the specific section on solar energy. See Article V. Supplemental Regulations, Section 5135. Review the applicable Zoning District Regulations, Article IV Establishment of Zoning Districts, especially if you want to install a ground-mounted solar system or build a new accessory structure for your system, such as a garage or pergola.

How do I Pass the Inspection from the Building Department?

Review the inspection checklist to understand the requirements that a rooftop solar PV system must comply with to pass the inspection from the Building Department.

Inspection Checklist

How do I Receive Approval to Interconnect the System with the Grid?

Before a solar PV system can be connected to the utility grid, you must submit an Interconnection Application and NIPSCO must approve the project. For details, visit the NIPSCO Renewable Energy Projects webpage. It is recommended that you contact NIPSCO before designing your system and prior to submitting plans to the Building Department to determine if the system meets all criteria and technical requirements to be interconnected.

Interconnection Process

What Rights Do I Have as a Consumer?

Recent state policy changes affecting distributed generation, including solar, included a section on customer rights. In addition, Indiana Code previously established the right to access solar energy and permits private entities to enter into a solar easement voluntarily to protect access to sunlight for a solar energy system in the future.

Senate Enrolled Act 309 (SEA 309)/Public Law 264

References to Solar in the Indiana Code

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Electricity Do Homes Typically Use?

Electricity consumption varies significantly between households, depending for example on the size of the home, how the home is heated, how much you use an air conditioner, whether light bulbs have been switched to LEDs, if the attic space is well-insulated, etc. 

In 2015 in Indiana, the average electricity consumption was 964 kWh monthly; 11,568 kWh annually. In contrast, the average in Michigan was 649 kWh monthly. See full U.S. Energy Information Administration report here. A 9.3 kW system produces about the same amount of electricity that the average home in Indiana consumes in a year. 

How Much Electricity Does a Solar PV System Produce in a Year?

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory tool called PVWatts Calculator is useful for estimating annual electricity production. In Goshen, the average system size is about 6.0 kW, which would produce about 7,400 kWh per year.

How Do I Determine the Solar System Size for My Home or Business?

Review your electricity bills from the last 12-24 months to determine how much electricity (in kWh) you actually use. You may want to roughly estimate the cost of different sized systems that would generate 25%, 50%, 75%, or up to 100% of your annual kWh usage. Many people arrive at this decision by looking at how much roof or ground space is available, their budget, and the degree to which energy efficiency improvements could cost-effectively reduce total electricity consumption.

What Factors Impact the Financial Return on the System?

Many people look at the payback period - the time it takes to recoup the initial cost as the electricity generated by the solar system offsets the cost of purchasing electricity from the utility. Typical payback periods range between 10-15 years. Keep in mind that financial benefits continue to accumulate for the entire life of the system. Panels often have warranties of 20-25 years which guarantee the system will maintain 80% of the initial production at the end of that time frame. If the system "breaks even" at 12 years, that's at least 8-13 years of 'free' electricity. 

The payback depends on the grants and tax credits that affect the initial cost and electricity rates for a given home or business. Estimating the payback period requires assumptions about how much electricity prices will rise in the future, the rate at which the excess electricity sent back to the grid is credited to the system owner, the rate at which production from the panels degrades, among other factors. 

I Want to Understand Electricity Production and Solar PV System Sizes but I Don't Understand the Difference Between KW and kWh.

The system size, or "capacity" of a solar PV system is stated in terms of kilowatts, or KW. This is a measure of power or the instantaneous rate of energy generation, analogous to miles per hour. Kilowatts (KW) are often confused with kilowatt-hours (kWh) which are a measure of total energy consumed, analogous to total miles traveled. One kWh is produced when a system produces electricity at a rate of one kW sustained for one hour.

How Much Space Would a Solar PV System Need?

A 6 kW system might be composed of approximately 24-26 panels taking up about 400 - 500 sq. ft.  A typical panel is about 17.5 sq feet. Individual solar panels range between 230 W to 275 W. Keep in mind that a solar installer would assist with the design and sizing of your system. 

The Solarize initiative is active again in 2019! RSVP for one of the workshops in the region or learn more at http://www.solarizeni.org.

Solar Map

The number of solar systems in the area has increased rapidly over the last five years. The map below shows solar photovoltaic (PV) systems near Goshen as of 2018. Visit the SIREN Solar Indiana interactive map here and filter by year to see how solar has grown!

Solar by the Numbers

In 2008, there were over 77 solar installations in the City of Goshen. Compared to Goshen's population, there were over 135 Watts per person which is more than leading solar cities such as Denver, Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico. See the Shining Cities 2019. Solar supports local jobs. To view the growth in solar jobs, see the latest National Solar Jobs Census. In 2018, there were 3,114 solar jobs in Indiana. Installation jobs comprised 75% of all solar jobs.