What is SharedSolar or community solar?
It is a voluntary program for customers to participate in the renewable solar movement in supplying their energy needs by joining with others in supporting and building a solar project. As public power, we need to expand access to solar power for renters, those with shaded roofs, poor rooflines, lack of structural support and those who choose not to install a residential system on their home for financial or other reasons.
The secondary goals met by many Community Solar projects include:
- Improved economies of scale
- Optimal project siting
- Increased public understanding of solar energy
- Generation of local jobs
Where will the solar project be located?
SharedSolar is planned to be located on about 10-acres of an abandoned landfill in Spanish Fork. It is a great location since the land is undevelopable for commercial means and is located next to an electrical substation.
Do I have to participate?
No. This is a voluntary program for customers. All the cost associated with the program are to be covered by those enrolling into the SharedSolar program. Electric rates to other customers will not be affected by this program.
How does SharedSolar program work?
Customers located in Levan, Nephi, Manti, Provo, Salem and Spanish Fork will be able to participate in an affordable and convenient way to meet their electricity needs with locally generated solar power without having to install rooftop solar panels. Customers can buy some or all of their power from a new solar plant and reduce their energy use from conventional sources.
What are the benefits of participation?
- This program offers customers a new choice to directly benefit from solar – especially those who cannot afford to buy solar panels, don’t want to maintain solar panels or whose roof orientation is not suited for solar panels and traditional net metering.
- High-use residential customers could save money with this program incurring high-tiered pricing during those peak months.
- The power generation portion of customers’ bills will be locked in and it will not be subject to future rate increases during the duration of their subscription. Transmission and distribution costs, continue to be subject to future rate changes.
What are the terms and conditions of enrollment?
- Since this is a new program, all of the terms and conditions are not fully developed. More details will be coming in the next few months.
- Current Net-metered customers are exempt from enrolling in SharedSolar.
- There will be a small termination fee for those cancel after participating in the program to cover the administration costs.
How much does the program cost?
The cost of the program is unknown. We are still developing the project and negotiating the project costs. We expect that this will be defined in the coming months. Our goal is for this program to be competitive alternative to rooftop solar or net-metering and be accessible for all interested customers.
We expect that customers will be able to buy solar blocks in 1 kilowatt (kw) increments and expecting to produce approximately 200 kilowatt-hours (kwh) per month.
The solar generation portion of customers’ bills will be locked in and it will not be subject to future rate increases during the duration of their subscription. Transmission, distribution and administrative costs are subject to future rate changes.
How much should I sign up?
Depending on your level of interest for renewable power, you can elect to supply a portion or all of your electricity needs from this program. Working with customer service representative, we can help advise you based on your historical consumption. Simply choose the number of solar blocks (1 kw/200 kwh block) you would like and let us do the rest. Even substituting some of your monthly energy usage for one block of solar energy can make a big difference in reducing your carbon footprint and supporting sustainable energy generation.