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PUD Considers Community Solar – Gauging Interest
Carlsborg, WA – March 7, 2016 – Clallam County PUD is considering building a Community Solar Project in Sequim. The project will only be constructed if there is full customer interest to fund the project. PUD customers can sign up with their commitment level online at www.clallampud.net/CommunitySolar.
Doug Nass, PUD General Manager, says, “The PUD has experienced significant interest in solar already, and customers have expressed an interest for more opportunities. This project gives customers who cannot afford a solar system on their home, or who may reside someplace where it is not possible to have solar, an opportunity to participate nonetheless.”
Roughly 200 roof-top solar customers have already taken advantage of the Olympic rain shadow within the Olympic Peninsula, using the sun’s resources to generate renewable energy. To provide this option to our customers, Clallam PUD will build the first local community solar project in Sequim. The cost of the project will be funded by customer participation in the purchase of one or more units.
The cost per unit is $250, with a maximum 40 units per customer. The project capacity is 75 kilowatts with a total of 1,200 units available. Clallam PUD estimates a payback period of 24 years, with a project life of 30 years. Customers who participate will receive a credit on their electric bill based on the electricity generated by the project and the number of units purchased. They will also receive an annual Washington state production incentive of approximately $15 per unit until June of 2020 (which is when the current incentive is set to expire, unless extended by the legislature).
Why is Clallam PUD planning to offer Community Solar?
- – Meeting our customer’s needs: Utilities are finding that a growing number of their customers are motivated to invest in solar due to their environmental beliefs, significant financial incentives, or the desire to be more independent from the electric grid. Clallam PUD feels it important to offer solar options to this growing segment of our customers. Our goal is to become an energy partner for all of our customers.
- – Community solar is consistent with our sustainable, clean-energy portfolio: Clallam PUD has a long history of investing in clean, renewable energy sources. Currently, Clallam PUD’s resource portfolio is 88% hydroelectric power and 98% carbon-free. Community solar is consistent with our communities’ desire for a sustainable future.
- – Community solar is available to a broader set of customers: According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, only 27% of rooftops nationwide are suitable for rooftop installations. Additionally, rooftop installation usually requires a large, up-front investment. Community solar offers a lower price-entry point and enables customers to participate in solar regardless of whether they rent or own their home.
- – Customer generation is a growing segment in our industry: Customer generation is expected to play a larger role in satisfying their energy needs. Utilities across the nation are being advised to look for ways to make customer generation work and be proactive in providing options that are cost-effective and work for everyone.
Interested customers should sign up online using the PUD’s secure form by April 30, 2016. There will be a random drawing of interested customers on May, 2, 2016, to determine which customers are afforded the opportunity to participate, with notifications made the following week.
For additional information, including maps of the project location, additional financial data, and the secure online customer sign up form, visit www.clallampud.net/CommunitySolar.