News & Updates All »

LANE RESTRICTIONS ON WEST LINCOLN AVENUE

Friday, August 18, 2017

West Lincoln Avenue will be restricted to one lane Friday, Aug. 18 and Monday, Aug. 21 in the 1700 block of W. Lincoln Avenue, across from Silverwood Lane. Crews will reopen the lane at the end of the day Friday and close again Monday Morning, before reopening to traffic at the end of the day Monday. more

CHANGES TO RAILROAD CROSSING CLOSURES

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Norfolk Southern has changed the dates of when railroad crossings in Goshen will be closed. These are the new changes: The crossing at Madison Street (US 33) will not be closed until a later date to be determined. The crossings at Plymouth Avenue, Burdick Street and several private crossings... more

NEXT BRUSH COLLECTION SCHEDULED AUG. 28

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Last month, the city notified residents there would be no brush collection in August. That has changed to due to there being significant amounts of brush out on the streets from storm damage. Brush collection will begin Monday August 28, 2017. Please place all leaves and brush at the curb but... more

Upcoming Events All »

Board of Zoning Appeals meeting

Today, 4:00pm

"Going Solar" Workshop

Today, 7:00pm

Solarize Goshen is working to make it easier, faster, and more affordable to go solar by the end of 2017! Participants with NIPSCO and I&M are strongly encouraged to sign a contract before Sept 30th, 2017 to receive installation before the end of the year, when changes to net metering policies start to take effect. Your home or business may be eligible for the Solarize negotiated pricing even if it is located in the surrounding counties, thanks to guidance from the Michiana Area Council of Governments. To get started, visit the Solarize Goshen webpage at www.SolarizeNI.org and RSVP to a workshop. If you want a jump start, fill out the online participant survey and submit your electricity usage data (see instructions in survey) before the workshop. To learn more about how to go solar in Goshen, visit the City of Goshen webpage at https://goshenindiana.org/going-solar-in-goshen

Board of Public Works & Safety & Stormwater

Monday, August 28, 2017, 2:00pm

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 Sunshot Initiative

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?

The fee schedule was recently updated in 2017. View the 2017 Building Department Fee Ordinance (Ordinance 4899) in the Ordinances section of this page here. To understand the fees 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 Much Does a Solar PV System Cost?

At the end of 2016, residential solar systems cost on average $2.93/Watt in the US according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory report found here. With this assumption, the cost would be about $17,600 before taxes and net $12,300 after the 30% Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit or 30% Business Energy Investment Tax Credit. The community-led "Solarize Goshen" initiative is working to organize homeowners and businesses to leverage their buying power and secure a discount for systems installed before the end of 2017.

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. 

Solarize Goshen launches August 3. To RSVP for one of the three workshops, go to 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 May 2017. Visit the SIREN Solar Indiana interactive map here and filter by year to see how solar has grown!

Solar by the Numbers

In March 2017, the Solar Foundation released the National Solar Jobs Census. In 2016, there were 2,700 solar jobs in Indiana. Installation jobs comprise 64% of all solar jobs, increasing 29% from 2015 to 2016. As of May 2017, there were approximately 22 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the City of Goshen.

Solar Metrics for Goshen, April 2017

Type of System

Number of Installations

Total Solar Capacity (kW)

Residential

12

66 kW

Commercial

7

2,034 kW

Institutional: Schools, Non-profits, Religious organizations

3

137 kW

Local Government

0

0 kW