Earth Day: Shedding light on a South Bend solar company providing power across the country

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- April 22 is Earth Day which marks 52 years of celebrating the Earth and promoting and protecting environmental health.

Innovateus Solar embraces sustainability practices and furthers its mission to lessen its impact on the environment.

Inovateus Solar has operated out of South Bend since 2008, Inovateus provides solar energy through rooftop solar panels and solar farms across the country. It operates in 23 states and the Caribbean but started in our own backyard.

Unfortunately, solar energy can be damaging to the environment. The International Renewable Energy Agency projects that solar panel waste could total up to 78 million metric tons by 2050. However, Inovateus Solar hopes to combat those numbers with its stewardship and sustainability mission which includes the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2025.

Tyler Kanczuzewski, the Vice President of Sustainability at Inovateus Solar is a part of the company’s sustainability initiative.
“We put together sustainability best practices including zero waste construction initiative and doing pollinator habitats underneath the panels, as well as recycling broken and damaged solar panels and things of that nature,” said Kanczuzewski.

The solar industry stimulates the economy and accounts for more than 250,000 jobs across the U.S., and now, more people are seeing the benefits of solar power.

Kanczuzewski has seen a shift in attitude toward solar energy since his first year at Inovateus ten years ago.

“When I started in 2012, solar was quite popular nationally, but fast-forwarding to now, we’re doing a lot of projects in our backyard,” said Kanczuzewski.

At first, many were concerned about the impact solar panels have on wildlife. However, the solar industry is working to improve the environment by adding pollinator habitats underneath panels and using vegetation and trees as barriers around farms.

And Kanczuzewski said solar farms don’t take away from farmland as Inovateus is working to make sure panels use less land but work more efficiently.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of evolution, solar panel getting more efficient and producing more power so we can take up less land and still get the same impact,” said Kanczuzewski.

Kanczuzewski is being recognized by Indiana University as a Hoosier Resilience Hero for his contributions to the community and the environment.

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