Local companies position to bolster solar biz in Indiana

June 15, 2009

A Michigan company that supplies solar energy systems to Fortune 500 companies and educational and government buildings has tapped two local entrepreneurs to establish a beachhead in Indianapolis.

Brighton, Mich.-based The Green Panel is partnering with local entrepreneurs Richard Witka and Antony Rhine, who own the startup Sestertii Solar Inc. The venture based at 8310 Allison Pointe Blvd. is focused on "Indiana's commercial and industrial solar movement," of which there is, well, not much to show so far.

One of the few businesses around these parts using photovoltaic panels is the Hilton Garden Inn, with a 4-kilowatt array on its roof near Monument Circle.

Currently, Indiana's total installed solar amounts to less than 100 kilowatts compared with 530 megawatts in California or 22 megawatts in New York state, estimates the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. Most of the growth in renewable energy in Indiana so far has been in wind power, with an estimated 800 megawatts likely to be spinning by year end.

But a handful of firms are getting into position for solar's future, including Indianapolis-based Earth Solar Technologies Corp.

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