News & Updates All »

REMINDER: BRUSH COLLECTION BEGINS SEPT. 25

Friday, September 22, 2017

Brush collection will begin Monday, September 25. Please place all leaves and brush at the curb but not in the street, so as to not cause a road hazard or hinder water drainage. Brush piles placed in alleyways will not be picked up. Do not place piles around fire hydrants, mailboxes or telephone... more

LANE RESTRICTIONS ON PLYMOUTH AVENUE

Friday, September 22, 2017

Contractor Walsh & Kelly will be working on Plymouth Avenue, from Indiana Avenue to the east completing punch list items from the project completed in 2016. Flaggers will control traffic during the lane restrictions. Work will begin Monday, Sept. 25 through Friday, Sept. 29 from 8:30 a.m.... more

OPEN HOUSE FOR VIOLETT CEMETERY'S NEW CREMATION GARDEN

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Goshen City Cemeteries is pleased to announce an open house for the new Violett Cemetery Cremation Garden on Friday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. During that time a staff member will be on hand to answer questions about the garden for members of the public. The cremation garden, built over... more

Upcoming Events All »

Board of Public Works & Safety & Stormwater

Monday, September 25, 2017, 2:00pm

Shade Tree Board meeting

Monday, September 25, 2017, 7:00pm

Goshen Housing Authority Board meeting

Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 7:00am

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