Chapter Corner

TMI Electrical Solutions: Equity 3.2 MW Photovoltaic System

Posted in: November/December 2015

TMI Electric received the 2015 IEC Excellence in Construction - Green Construction Award for its work in partnership with Melink Corporation to design and install a complete turn-key installation of a 3.2MW roof mount photovoltaic array at Equity Properties in 140 days. At the time, it was the largest roof mounted installation in the Midwest.

TMI_Solar.jpgMelink leased the roof from Equity to obtain a “Feed in Tariff” from the utility company (Indiana Power & Light) to provide generation to the utility at a purchase price of $0.20 a kilowatt hour. The array will generate over $750,000 a year in income from the sale of electricity. Melink (investor) will receive a tax credit of over $2.5 million dollars and a yearly return of over 15 percent on their investment.

The project included 12,264 PV modules installed on a 10-acre roof site. This included all required engineering, documentation, and array design. TMI provided site analysis; PV design; permitting; PV system installation; general contracting and site management; and electrical installation of primary conduits, utility transformers, distribution panels, inverters, array wiring, DC string home runs, and modules.

RackingInstall_TMI.gifThe greatest challenge during the project was that the majority of man-hours were spent working on the roof of the building, making fall protection a high priority. Although the summer weather is great for construction, heat and storms can be a challenge when on a rooftop. TMI utilized scaffolding stairs to access the roof, providing a safe entrance and exit. TMI also invited OSHA to inspect both the flagging and the stairs, receiving their acknowledgment of a safe workplace. TMI spent 516 of the total 10,582 man-hours on safety, ensuring that all of their electricians were properly trained. TMI’s electricians also utilized sunscreen, safety sunglasses, and constant hydration to minimize the sun’s effects.

“TMI Electrical Contractors is highly professional, very competent, knowledgeable, and is always searching for the best solutions to bring the project success,” said Harry Acheampong, PMP, project manager for Melink Solar.