Community Solar offers an affordable and easy way to grow our own power! Members benefit from monthly bill credits and the whole Co-op benefits from a first step towards a local source for emergency back-up power.
Community Solar is the first step toward local solutions to expensive mainland power trends (as we outline in our Integrated Resource Plan). It also offers increased redundancy, and the capability to re-route power for emergency services.
The solar units you purchase offset a portion of your electric bill. Experience a return on investment while also switching a portion of your electricity usage to clean, local solar power.
Participants purchase the right to the production output of a number of units of the project. A unit represents a set amount of watts, and participants get a credit on their bill each month for the production of those solar units. In addition, participants will get a check, annually (for as long as the funds last, estimated 5 years), for WA State Production Incentives credit, which is administered through Washington State University. OPALCO will take care of operating, maintaining, upkeep, and administration of the array and community solar program.
Any OPALCO member in good standing with an active meter can participate. Non-members can also participate by donating Solar Units to an active member or OPALCO’s Energy Assist Program to help low-income member households, similar to OPALCO “Gifts of Power” certificates.
Minimum investment is $150. Maximum investment is going to depend on member interest.
Yes, this will vary depending on how many units you participate in. For most participants it will offset a small portion of your usage. For example, the typical home using 1,000 kWh per month would need to invest ~$20,000 to offset its full consumption (kWh only). Please note that a goal of the program is to spread the benefit among as many participants as possible, within reason.