On cue, the sun broke through the clouds as officials cut the yellow ribbon to mark the opening of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway solar farm near the backstretch of the iconic racing venue.
Sixty-eight acres owned by the Hulman-George family includes 39,314 solar modules that will generate 9 megawatts of power -- generally meeting the energy needs of 2,700 Indianapolis Power & Light customer homes per month. SunWize Technologies of California and Blue Renewable Energy of Arizona co-developed the project that was initiated in 2012.
"One hundred and five years ago, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had just come off of its first event in June, which was a balloon event, and they were just preparing for what would be the first (motorsports) races, which would be motorcycle and car races in August 1909," said J. Douglas Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "The track was developed as a place to test technology, and at the time technology was the automotive industry. Indianapolis was leading the nation in what was to be the next technology and what really defined our country over the last century.
"I think about our founders. Carl Fisher and his team that developed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a proving grounds and what we've been able to is take a piece of property that Carl Fisher didn't have 105 years ago and done something that Carl Fisher and his team I think would be very proud of. We are on the front end of what is the next technology."
Boles noted that the Speedway will benefit from the solar farm -- the largest at any sporting facility in the world -- as an IPL customer.
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