Rocky Mountain Power Announces Developer and Location for Subscriber Solar Program Resource
February 15, 2016
SALT LAKE CITY — Rocky Mountain Power has signed a contract with juwi (pronounced ‘you-vee’) to build and develop the utility’s first Subscriber Solar program resource. The 20 megawatt solar farm will be located in Holden, Utah, which is in Millard County, approximately 2 ½ hours south of the Salt Lake City valley.
The Utah Public Service Commission approved the Subscriber Solar program in October which allows customers to subscribe to some or all of their electricity from solar power. The program gives customers a choice to get their power from the sun even if they cannot afford rooftop solar panels or live in apartments or condos.
“We used a competitive bidding process to make sure our customers got the best value possible for solar energy,” said Paul Clements, Rocky Mountain Power’s director of commercial services. “This is an exciting new option for customers to buy solar power for their homes or businesses.”
Participants will be able to subscribe in 200-kilowatt-hour blocks up to their total usage; the 20-megawatt solar farm will provide 20,000 blocks. Residential customers will receive a “locked-in” generation rate of 7.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, plus about 4 cents for transmission and distribution, totaling 11.7 cents per kilowatt-hour.
For example, a typical Utah customer uses 742 kilowatt-hours monthly and would pay an additional $1.26 each month (average) for one solar block. The benefits and costs of the program will vary depending on how much electricity a customer uses and how many blocks they support.
For instance, high-energy users in the summer may actually pay less money for their energy because electricity costs can be as high as 14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. “The ‘locked-in’ rate could also save customers money if electricity prices go up in the future,” added Clements.
The Subscriber Solar program is a great alternative for people who are renting, cannot afford solar panels, have homes that are not suited for rooftop solar, are restricted due to HOA rules or simply don’t want rooftop solar systems. Subscribers will not have to pay upfront costs or deal with the ongoing maintenance of installed solar panels.
The voluntary program will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The project will be built in 2016 and the program will start on January 1, 2017. Subscribers would only pay a termination fee if they cancel their subscription before three years after they enroll.
Nearly 300 residential and business customers have already expressed interest in signing up for the Subscriber Solar program. Salt Lake City intends to subscribe to a sizeable amount of solar for the next 20 years. Customers can get more details, photos of the site and sign up to receive updates at rockymountainpower.net/subscriber.
Photo: The site in Holden, Utah, where juwi will build a 20 megawatt solar farm for Rocky Mountain Power's Subscriber Solar program. The facility will be constructed this year.