FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — At Tuesday’s Fort Wayne City Council meeting, the Mayor’s Office gave a presentation on how the Summit City could become more sustainable.
The presentation covered a lot of what the Sustaining Fort Wayne plan is about, but the thing that might be most applicable to residents is how the presentation touched on solar power.
The City’s plan will look to give Fort Wayne residents the tools to tap into the power of the sun.
“What we’re looking at is how can we help the community out,” said Douglas Fasick, the Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Fort Wayne.
Whether or not the city can pursue solar options rests with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In June, the EPA opened $7 billion in funding as part of their “Solar For All” campaign.
If Fort Wayne is one of the 60 recipients of the grant, there are two options the city is pursuing.
One would place solar panels on the roofs of those who qualify under Solar for All.
“We’ve been able to apply for this grant with the hope that we can get some money to get solar on some of these homes that are in consensus areas,” Fasick said. “There will be a process we’ll go through and houses will have to qualify.”
To qualify, houses need to have proper roofing to accept solar panels in addition to meeting structural requirements.
And for those who don’t qualify, the city is looking into solar arrays that would feed into a number of homes.
“If the home doesn’t qualify, we’re hoping to put what they call a ‘solar community project’ into place,” Fasick said.
Community projects would have solar arrays in other places that would feed into several homes.
As for cost, the hope is that if the grant money is secured, qualified houses will be able to get the panels installed for free.
“The hope and the intent is that with the way the EPA structured the grant is – there is a public-private partnership,” Fasick said. “The EPA would provide us a certain amount of money and hopefully the gap between what they’re providing we can have provided by other community philanthropists.”
The City of Fort Wayne will learn if it will receive grant money from the EPA in March.