Hometown Connections, the utility services subsidiary of the American Public Power Association, and Clean Energy Collective on May 25 said that they will work together to help public power utilities offer community solar programs to customers.
In a news release, Hometown and CEC noted that community solar offers customers in a utility territory the ability to participate in the benefits of local clean power generation through locally sited, utility-scale solar PV arrays.
“In light of public power’s growing demand for flexible community solar solutions, Hometown Connections is excited to be partnering with CEC,” said Tim Blodgett, Hometown’s president and chief executive officer, in the news release.
He said that “CEC has made clean energy accessible and a smart financial decision by eliminating site issues such as home orientation, shading and building ownership (renters); and minimizing the financial barrier to entry through allowing participants to scale their purchases down to a single panel if needed.”
CEC has already worked with individual public power utilities. In July 2015, San Antonio, Texas-based CPS Energy said that it had chosen CEC as its vendor for the utility’s first community solar project.
Hometown and CEC said that CEC’s approach involves helping to make a solar option available to all of a utility’s ratepayers while preserving utilities’ direct, grid-tied relationship with them.
CEC develops medium-scale (500-kW to 20-MW) solar facilities in a partner utility’s territory. The energy generated flows directly to the utility under a mutually-agreed contract. All utility customers have the opportunity to participate in the shared solar facility.
In return, participants receive credit for the energy generated on their monthly electric bills.
CEC’s proprietary software automatically monitors production and integrates with the utility’s billing system to manage on-bill crediting. Programs with utility partners can be utility-branded or CEC-branded.
Through Hometown Connections, APPA members will gain access to discount pricing on CEC’s software and services.
To learn more about community solar, visit APPA’s webpage on distributed resources.