More DMEA members will soon be able to “plug into the sun” using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels without having to install them on their own property. Under contract to DMEA, Atlasta Solar (www.atlastasolar.com) recently installed two additional 10 kilowatt (kW) community solar arrays—one at the DMEA’s Montrose headquarters, the other at its Read service center in Delta County. DMEA members will be able to start leasing portions of the new arrays beginning July 14, 2011.
“Our first two arrays were fully leased out in under two months,” noted Jim Heneghan, DMEA’s renewable energy engineer. “There were some members who wanted to lease part of the first solar arrays, but were unable to do so until now. We’re pleased to have this additional capacity to provide more members the opportunity to receive the benefits of solar power through our local power partnership.”
Through DMEA’s solar tariff approved by the co-op’s board of directors in March, members can lease part of the community solar array for as little as $10, making the DMEA solar lease program very affordable.
Each $10 lease increments provides the member with 2.67 watts of solar capacity—expected to generate about $.56 worth of electricity each year, with clouds and other weather-related variables making this an estimate. Those members that lease a larger portion of the community solar array receive a proportionately larger credit on their electric bill. The value of electricity generated by the solar array is increase over the 25 years of the lease as the price of conventional electricity rises.
The lease agreement will be available at www.dmea.com on July 14 and payment for the solar array can be made by credit card or check by calling DMEA at 1-877-687-3632.
“As with our first two solar arrays, this additional 20,000 watts of capacity will be leased out on a “first-paid, first-leased’ basis,” said Heneghan.
“With 20,000 watts of capacity available in these two arrays, I expect that these two new arrays will also sell out fairly quickly. However, if there’s more demand for solar leases than these two new arrays can accommodate, we hope to install more arrays in the future to match our members’ interest in this program.”
Atlasta Solar completed the installation of the new solar arrays at DMEA’s Montrose headquarters and Read service center in late June.