Arizona-based public power utility Salt River Project (SRP) has launched SRP Community Solar, a pilot program that allows public schools in the utility's service territory to purchase energy from a solar photovoltaic power plant to be built in 2011.
Under the program, school districts will purchase a portion of the output from the solar facility for a fixed price of $0.099/kWh for 10 years. Eighteen MW of energy will be allocated to this program, and each school's share of the solar plant will be individually metered.
Schools will be able to invest in solar energy without the up-front costs of purchasing and installing solar panels and will not incur any maintenance or repair costs that may be associated with a rooftop system, SRP says. In addition, the kWh costs for the energy produced by the solar system is locked in for ten years. If the costs for electricity increases, the energy purchased through the Community Solar program will remain the same.
Participating school districts will also receive access to solar educational materials and a Web portal that will provide data on the plant's operation and performance. SRP will retain and use the renewable energy credits from the plant to support the utility's sustainable portfolio.
SOURCE: Salt River Project