Once workers finish the wiring of 84,000-square-feet of solar panels off State Road 135, the electricity produced will be set to flow to Johnson County homes.
Sunlight will hit the panels which use photovoltaic cells to convert it into electricity. Those electrons will move to an on-site inverter, which converts them from direct to alternating currents. From there, the electrons go to an on-site transformer, where the voltage is increased to get them onto the Johnson County REMC electrical grid.
Once in the grid they will become part of a stream of energy that goes to household’s in Johnson County REMC’s service territory.
The solar farm on a 10-acre property on State Road 135, south of State Road 44 is expected to supply 2 million kilowatt hours per year, or enough energy to power 150 standard-sized homes.
Story continues below gallery
Installation is ongoing of the wiring and then the panels, and is expected to be complete in October.
The $2.5 million solar farm is a joint project between Hoosier Energy and Johnson County REMC. Hoosier Energy purchased 10 acres of land off of State Road 135 earlier this year to make room for the solar farm.
Each of the more than 4,000 panels currently being installed can collect 1.5 kilowatt hours of electricity per day. They rotate east to west to follow the sun.
While peak power periods are during sunny summer days, the solar farm will gather power all year long, even when weather is less than idea, Johnson County REMC Director of Member Services John Gates said.
The panels are constructed to endure inclement weather, such as rain, snow and hail and can be rotated to avoid strong winds, he said. They are under warranty to produce electricity for 25 years and may last longer than that, Gates said.
The panels absorb light rather than reflecting it, so they won’t present a problem to drivers on State Road 135, Gates said.
The particular electrons generated by the solar panels can’t be tracked, but Johnson County REMC will be able to measure how much energy is produced from the farm, Gates said.
Construction on the Trafalgar solar farm is set to wrap up in October.
Number of panels: 4,000
Combined size of solar panels: 81,000 square feet
Electricity generated per panel: 1.5 kilowatt hours per day
Total electricity generated: 2 million kilowatt hours per year
Cost: $2.5 million