Tacoma Power will build Pierce County’s first community solar project early next year. Electric customers who want to invest in solar energy can register now at TacomaPower.com/CommunitySolar to buy solar units when they go on sale in early 2016.
Community solar, a more affordable way to invest in solar energy, does not require home ownership, a load-bearing roof or the high cost of installing solar panels.
Tacoma Power will build the 75-kilowatt project, and customers will fully fund it. Customers who buy solar units for $100 each will receive an annual Washington state solar production incentive payment, as well as payment for the electricity produced from the project. The expected payback period is about four years.
The state’s solar energy incentive ends in 2020, so building the project now will help customers take advantage of the incentive.
The community solar project adds to Tacoma Power’s already-extensive list of renewable energy; all of the power the utility produces is renewable hydropower. Nearly all of the power purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration is renewable as well. The project will feature solar panels and inverters manufactured in Washington state.