Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) in Washington recently announced that its customers' combined solar energy capacity had reached 2 MW, double that of just 18 months ago.
Collectively, the PUD says these systems generate roughly 2 million kWh of solar energy each year, enough to serve about 170 local homes. More than 350 PUD customers now cover part of their electricity needs through their own solar energy units.
The bulk of the small-scale solar energy production comes from customers participating in the PUD's Solar Express program, which offers financial incentives and technical assistance for solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems.
‘We've seen growing interest in solar energy among both residential customers and businesses,’ says PUD Energy Efficiency Program Manager Leslie Moynihan. ‘With system prices as much as 40 percent cheaper than recent years and a collection of incentives and tax breaks available, it's an ideal time to consider this renewable resource.’
The PUD says customer-generated solar energy is a wise investment, as it reduces the utility's need to purchase new energy. Renewable energy projects, such as rooftop solar units, help customers reduce their environmental impact and utility bills, the utility adds.