What is Community Solar?
Community Solar is a different model for solar energy. Instead of putting a solar array on an individual home, which requires home ownership, the right sunny location, a load bearing roof and fairly large upfront investment, Community Solar brings together a group of participants to build one larger solar array.
Funded by participating customers, Clark Public Utilities has committed to build and maintain four Community Solar projects adjacent to one another on site at the utility Operations Center in Orchards. The location was chosen for its prime solar exposure, visibility and cost-effective proximity to existing electrical infrastructure. The arrays are slated to begin generating electricity to the Clark Public Utilities electric grid before the end of June 2015, and owners will receive state production incentives and energy generation credits on their bills based on the number of shares purchased.
All residential customers of Clark Public Utilities were eligible to purchase a piece of the Community Solar Project and shares sold out on the first day. Based on demand, three more projects were developed and shares for all sold out in less than one month. One share of Community Solar is equal to 1/12 of a solar panel and cost $100. Customers could purchase one share or up to 100 shares.
For the life of the solar projects (estimated to be 20 years) participants will receive an annual bill credit for the percentage of energy generated. Through the year 2020, participants will also receive a generous Washington State Production Incentive specifically for Community Solar, which is double the incentive for personal systems on a single home.
- Approximate number of homes powered annually by Community Solar: 30
- Total number of Community Solar participants: over 700
- Mean number of shares purchased by each participant: 10 Shares
- Total generation between all five community solar sites: 319,000 watts
Northeast Padden Parkway, Vancouver, WA 98662, USA