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Going Green

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 725 

 Visit the Labor-Management Cooperative page.  General information about our industry.

View our solar energy output, CO2 avoided, current and running totals by clicking here.          Click here to view the Indiana Office of Energy Development website.  

Located in Bloomington and Terre Haute

For more information about solar installations, other electrical needs and contacting our contractors call 812-877-4239, ext 212 or E-mail unionhall@ibew725.org.     Click here for a list of contractors.


(Content below: News stories, pictures, and videos at the bottom of the page)

IBEW Local 725 One of Grant Recipients!

Indiana Awards Twelve Grants for Alternative Energy

For Immediate Release    Contact:  Eric Burch    317-232-8944    eburch@oed.in.gov  

(Indianapolis)—Lt. Governor Becky Skillman has announced 12 Alternative Power and Energy Grant awards totaling $388,955.  The money, part of a federal grant program administered by the Indiana Office of Energy Development, will partially fund the purchase and installation of six solar power arrays and one wind turbine. The awards are the result of a competitive grant program that opened in November 2009.

“The local governments and small businesses that are receiving these grants are looking to the future,” said Lt. Governor Becky Skillman.  “They realize that alternative power sources need to be included as part of our energy portfolio in Indiana. All Hoosiers can learn from their experience.”  

Grantees include:

Name

Technology

Purpose

Bloomington Cooperative Services
(Monroe County)

Solar panels

Solar array for Bloomingfoods Market & Deli

Curt Silvey, Kokomo

(Howard)

Solar panels

To power grain dryer

Evansville-Vanderburgh Public

Library
(Vanderburgh)

Solar panels

Solar array for Central Library

FCC Mfg., Portland

Solar water heating

Heat water used to clean manufactured parts

Haubstadt Community School, Fort Branch
(Gibson)

2.4 kW wind turbine

Installing a wind turbine at the school was proposed by 3rd graders.

IBEW Local 725,
Terre Haute
(Vigo)

Solar panels

Installation will also be used to train electrical workers

Indiana Municipal Power Agency, Carmel
(Hamilton)

28 solar panels and solar hot water system

Demonstration/education project for  power agency members

Jay County

Solar water heating

Jay County Highway Dept.

Name

Technology

Purpose

Lake County Electricians JATC

Solar panels

Joint project of the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, IBEW Local 697, and Nat. Electrical Contractors Association for training

City of Portland
(Jay)

Solar water heating

Hot water for community resource center and waste water treatment facility

City of Scottsburg
(Scott)

Solar panels and Solar water heating

To be used at non-profit Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center

City of Winchester
(Randolph)

Solar water heating

Hot water for Street Department facility

 

The Alternative Power and Energy grant is a competitive grant program funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. It’s designed to increase awareness and utilization of alternative energy resources as well as to create vocational opportunities for Hoosiers interested in renewable energy. 

Public entities, small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Indiana were eligible to apply for the program. Grants for 50% of an alternative energy project up to $100,000 were made available. Approved technologies include Solar, Wind, Microhydroelectric, and biomass.

Each award must pass through a federal review, and the first to be cleared focused on solar and wind technologies.  A total of $879,000 is available for this program.  Additional awards are expected later this year.

###

The Office of Energy Development (OED) was created in December 2005 as an extension of the Indiana energy office. Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, OED is responsible for the state’s energy policy. For more information visit www.energy.in.gov. or follow OED on twitter, IndianaEnergy.

 For updates from the Lt. Governor and the agencies she oversees, please sign up at www.in.gov/lg/


May 11, 2010

New solar array panels to provide cost savings to IBEW 725

Union expects to recoup investment within eight years

TERRE HAUTE — While new solar array panels are expected to provide cost savings, to members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 725, the panels represent a training tool for the future of solar markets.

The electrical union early this year was awarded a $42,580 competitive grant administered by the Indiana Office of Energy Development. The 50 percent matching grant, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program, has allowed the purchase of 60 solar panels, capable of generating 14,000 watts of electricity.

One-third of the panels can be seen by drivers along Indiana 46, near Hulman Street, on the east side of Terre Haute. Those panels produce about 4,666 watts of electricity and are being used to power a large electrical sign for the union.

“We will do net metering with Duke Energy, through an interconnection agreement, so whenever we are generating more power than we are utilizing, we get a credit” on the facility’s total electrical bill, said R. Todd Thacker, business manager for Local 725. 
Setup: Setting up the new solar array Monday at the IBEW hall at State Road 46 and Hulman are Charlie Nettles, Tom Szymanski and Brian Wood. The array and one twice as big near the hall itself were purchased through a grant from the Indiana Office of Energy Development. This one will power the electronic sign board, feeding leftover energy back into the Duke Energy grid.
Setup: Setting up the new solar array Monday at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers hall at State Road 46 and Hulman are Tom Szymanski, Brian Wood and Charlie Nettles (unseen). The array and one twice as big near the hall itself were purchased through a grant from the Indiana Office of Energy Development. This one will power the electronic sign board, feeding leftover energy back into the Duke Energy grid.


“During the day, when producing electricity, the sign uses about 1,500 watts, as only the marquee is lighted. At night, we have the sign lit up inside and use about 4,000 to 5,000 watts,” Thacker said. “We get credit during the day and are buying power during the night.”

Cost savings have not yet been determined, Thacker said, as the system does not go online until the end of this month. The system must be in operation by May 31, according to the grant agreement, Thacker said, adding that the union worked with the National Photovoltaic Construction Partnership to obtain the state grant.

The union expects to get its investment back within seven or eight years, based on initial credit savings, he said.

“We are estimating this will take care of 25 percent of our annual [electrical] usage. We get two electric bills, one for the sign and one for the building,” Thacker said.

Installation of the panels started Monday and is to continue today at the union’s 5,000-square-foot, all-electric main office building at 5675 E. Hulman Dr. The remaining two-thirds of the solar panels are to be placed on the south side of the main building, producing about 9,334 watts.

The biggest reason the union decided to use solar panels, Thacker said, “is we are wanting to promote the industry. We also want to train our people. We are not as concerned about the payback as much as we much as we are in the training opportunity and marketing.”

“I think going green is something everyone would like to do, but don’t know how to do it, so we are trying to show a path to do that,” Thacker said. “We are trying to be progressive.”

The union plans to post daily updates of its power usage on its Web site, www.ibew725.org, to publicly show how much power is being generated from its solar panels, Thacker said.

Currently, it costs about 20 cents to produce a kilowatt of electricity from solar power, versus 8 to 9 cents per kilowatt from coal, Thacker said. However, the more that solar panels are used nationwide and mass-produced, the more the cost of solar components and solar power will be lowered, Thacker said.

The solar panels will be manually adjusted twice a year to track the sun, slanting at a 37-degree angle in the summer and a 41-degree angle in the winter, Thacker said. In addition, the panels can be taken down and reinstalled to aid in the training of electricians and union apprentices.

The panels are manufactured by Sharp Corp. in Memphis, Tenn., and are “supposed to withstand a 110-mile-per-hour wind and half-inch hail at 50 miles per hour. We have a 20-year guarantee with the solar panels,” Thacker said.

Thacker said he would next like to install solar panels on the union’s 22,000-square-foot training building at Ninth and Ohio streets in Terre Haute and hopes to obtain a grant to do that. That training facility, which currently has 114 apprentices, is jointly owned with the National Electrical Contractors Association, Thacker added. 

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 1, 2010

Readers' Forum: June 2, 2010

More to know about IBEW state grant

This is in response to the letter on May 28 submitted by Bill Jaeger over concerns about IBEW Local 725 receiving grant money for our alternative energy solar panel installation from the Indiana Office of Energy Development.

Mr. Jaeger does not have all of the information and facts. Let’s be clear, the local union spent over $47,000 in materials, time and labor to match the funding of a $42,580 grant. In fact, we will expect to “recoup our investment” within eight years because we did invest our money and time in the solar project.

We invest over  $250,000 a year to train and provide the best possible classroom training and education for local skilled electricians through the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, a partnership between the union and its electrical contractors. It is self-funded with private money. Our electricians are required to receive 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and five years of classroom study that leads to an associate’s degree upon reaching the status of Journeyman.

We are actively involved in volunteer work, donating time and labor, and providing financial assistance to a wide range of local organizations that are in need. We sit on local boards and non-profit agencies to give back to our community. We live and work here and want to see Terre Haute and surrounding communities prosper and be a great place to live and work.

The solar installation is an educational tool that is open to public inspection and tours. We are playing a small part to promote energy sources that will make us less dependent on foreign countries, make our environment cleaner, and give new work opportunities in an expanding market where jobs are and will continue to be created — issues that I would hope Mr. Jaeger can appreciate —  for the betterment of our community.

So perhaps these are the reasons we were fortunate enough to receive the grant. We were not granted a “favor” as a supporter of any government agency. We were only one of 12 recipients this year, most being cities and public entities. Were they granted favors also?

Let’s remember we are all in this together. Maybe we should wait to have a “party” when we have more jobs, when roads and schools can be built, when we have enough teachers to provide our children with a quality education, and we can stop polluting our oceans with oil.

— R. Todd Thacker

Business Manager

IBEW Local Union 725

Terre Haute


June 21, 2010

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 725 turns its attention to solar power

TERRE HAUTE — Good day, sunshine. Good day, power savings.

Amid a sunny afternoon Monday, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 725 officially dedicated three solar panel arrays to be used not only to save electrical costs, but to provide union members with installation training for future solar markets.

The solar panels have been in operation since May 26, said R. Todd Thacker, business manager for IBEW Local 725.

“On one array we have saved 531 kilowatts, and on the other array we saved 581 kilowatts. The reason there is a difference, one is set at a flatter angle and the other at a steeper angle. We did that for educational purposes to see how much [solar] production we would get out of them,” Thacker said.

“In addition, we had about 430 kilowatts saved by our sign” on the east side of Indiana 46, at the intersection of Hulman Street, Thacker said.

Thacker said the three solar panel arrays have each saved 1,000 pounds of carbon emissions.

“If we were getting the same amount of power from a coal-fired generating station, it would have produced [and released] that much carbon into the atmosphere,” Thacker said.

Thacker estimates the facility has saved about $120 in electricity costs over nearly a month.

One of two solar array panels near the union’s main building at 5675 E. Hulman Drive was tilted at 25 degrees, optimum for solar absorption during the summer. That produced 4,760 watts during the day.

“That is close to a 5,000-watt generator, which is a good size that would run everything you run in a house if your power went out during an emergency,” Thacker said.

The second array on Monday was tilted at 37 degrees, used during the winter. However, during the summer, solar rays simply reflect off the panels, instead of being absorbed. Thacker said they wanted to track the difference in absorption and power savings.

With two solar panel arrays producing about 8,000 watts, Thacker said that reduces the facility’s need for power to run air conditioning by 50 percent.

The electrical union early this year was awarded a $42,580 competitive grant administered by the Indiana Office of Energy Development. The 50 percent matching grant, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program, has allowed the purchase of 60 solar panels, capable of generating 14,000 watts of electricity.

The facility has an interconnection agreement with Duke Energy, so whenever the panels produce more power than the facility or sign uses, the facility gets a credit on its total electric bill.

Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com


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