DPU Launches Community Solar Garden Survey

COUNTY News:

Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities is conducting an online survey through the “Open Forum” tool on the County website. 

The five question survey is designed to gather interest from Los Alamos County citizens for the development of a potential community solar garden. Citizens can take the survey now through Jan. 8, 2017 at http://www.peakdemocracy.com/4098.

A community solar garden is an array of photovoltaic panels with multiple subscribers, according to Deputy Utilities Manager Steve Cummins. “Subscribers may purchase or lease one or more photovoltaic panels in the array, rather than installing a photovoltaic system at their home,” he said. “For a customer who wants to take advantage of solar power, but lives in an apartment or in a home that is shaded by trees, ownership in a community solar garden is ideal.” 

Cummins explains that advantages include subscribers being able to sell power back to the DPU just as if the panels were installed at their home, and subscriptions follow customers if they move to another location within the County. 

The survey is the first step for the DPU to prepare a feasibility study as directed by the Board of Public Utilities. Recommendations from a citizen ad-hoc committee – the Future Energy Resource (FER) Committee – were adopted by the Board for the DPU to evaluate adding a community solar garden to the County’s energy generation portfolio. 

Survey results will be shared with the Board at the Jan. 18 board meeting at 5:30 p.m. in Council chambers at 1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos. More information on the FER Committee and its recommendations to the Board can be found on the DPU’s webpage at www.losalamosnm.us/utilities

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