Being sunny with community solar
Vera’s community solar project is currently full (as of August 2016). The program lets Vera’s participating customers go solar without having to buy their own systems.
Our community solar project gave our participating customers the opportunity to work together and build a 6.8-kilowatt solar project on our campus. The customers that participated will share the value of the solar energy generated and the production credits from the state.
What is community solar?
Community solar is step toward sustainable living. Vera Water and Power’s community solar project gives participants an affordable and flexible way to use solar energy. The clean energy from the solar panels are used in the Spokane Valley.
The cost of the project was funded by customers who voluntarily purchased “blocks” of the solar power. This project will generate 200 blocks of power, priced at $200 per block. Purchasing a block is a purchase for the power generated by the plant only. Vera retains ownership of the plant and is responsible for the site, construction and maintenance for the life of the project.
How does this benefit participants?
Community solar participants in Washington State are eligible to receive Washington State production credits in the amount of $1.08 per kilowatt hour through June 30, 2020, which can result in a 3 to 4 year payback. For example, Lands Energy Consulting, who designed this project for Vera, estimated that for each block of power priced at $200, a participant could expect approximately $53 annually in credits from these state incentives. These state incentives are currently authorized through June 30, 2020, about 4.5 more years. After 2020, the renewal of the state incentives is in the hands of the legislature. There are no indications yet of the odds of renewal.
Participants will also receive bill credits for their share of energy produced by the project, which will help offset retail energy costs throughout the expected life of the project. Based on current rates, this would result in credits of about $3.20 per year to your account per block, for the 10 year life of the project.