Mason County’s first local shared solar project is coming to Mason PUD 3’s Johns Prairie offices at Shelton. PUD 3 customers will have the chance to apply online for shares of a solar energy system beginning August 1, 2015.
The PUD’s Shared Solar system will be 75 Kilowatts, enough to power seven Mason County homes. It will be on one of the operations buildings at the PUD Johns Prairie operations center. The PUD has a 225-kilowatt system on a nearby operations center building. It generates enough electricity to power up to 20 homes.
PUD 3 customers have shown a great deal of interest in solar energy projects. In fact, there are 43 systems installed at homes throughout the county. However, there are those for one or more reasons who can’t take advantage of solar energy at their homes:
- The cost is out of their range.
- Solar panels, brackets and connectors can weigh down a roof.
- There’s not enough of a southern exposure to catch the sun.
- Nearby trees may block the sun.
- Restrictive homeowners association’s covenants.
- Adopting a lifestyle required for a home renewable energy system.
With PUD 3’s community solar program, customers can purchasing solar units in the system. Each unit costs $100 (maximum 100 units per customer), with 2,893 available units.
The investment will pay itself off quickly (estimated between three and four years) in two ways:
- An annual credit on a customer’s electric bill based on the electricity generated by their share of the project.
- An annual Washington State production incentive of $1.08/kWh that a customer’s solar units generate through 2020.
Customers can try out a payback calculator to see how their investment would pay off (for informational purposes only), and register for solar units online. More information is available at PUD 3’s conservation department: 360-426-0777.
So everyone gets an even chance, names will be chosen in a random drawing of registered applicants. Participants must be a Mason PUD 3 residential customer. The drawing is September 17, 2015 at 12:00 noon.