If Arizona Public Service’s proposal will be approved, its customers will enjoy solar power without having to shell out a large amount of money for the installation. The utility is planning to place solar panels on its customer’s rooftops. Consumers will be charged at the present energy rates. No added costs for cleaner energy.
A similar plan that was approved recently in North Carolina. Duke Energy’s $50 million project will install solar panels and pay a rental fee to the property owners. The utility has all the rights to the panels that they will install on the property. Because they own the system, the utility has full control over all the solar resources it generates. Each home will act like a mini solar power plant that feeds the main power grid.
Initially, the Duke Energy project had a budget of $100 million, but it was scaled down to half of that. It is expected to generate electricity that can power up to 1,300 homes. This is part of the utility’s long-term goal of diversifying their power generation.
At least $10,000 will be saved by each customer. This amount represents the upfront costs for the installation, which is one of the major deterrents to distributed solar systems. With that out of the equation, solar energy becomes more affordable. Solar energy systems will be more attractive to customers.
The Arizona Public Service dubs it the Community Power Project and has a budget of $14.7 million. It can generate up to 1.5 megawatts if 200 to 300 property owners participate in the project. They also plan to install around 50 solar water heater systems in the Flagstaff area.
The electricity produced from the panels will be fed directly into the power grid. Arizona Public Service’s smart grid technology program will make sure that the system will run smoothly across the grid. The utility already maintains a couple of solar power plants in Arizona, but distributed solar power can help the utility meet the state requirement for clean and sustainable energy production.
Duke Energy and Arizona Public Service are starting something good, by giving consumers a cleaner energy source without the need to shell out a huge amount for the installation costs. Duke CEO James Rogers stated that the organization believes the future is a low-carbon world. It is the company’s mission to lessen the carbon emissions created by the energy production process.