Palo Alto Municipal Solar Panles
For those who still think solar energy is just a trend, those of us on the West Coast have some news for you! While “Washington Insiders” may be trying to do a number on solar energy and its proponents since the Solyndra ordeal, Adair Solar Company in Mesa is proud to let you know that Palo Alto, California’s city council has approved a program to pay back those with solar installations for the energy they create.
In an article from the LA Times, Marla Dickerson writes, “This week, the Palo Alto City Council approved a plan to buy clean power from local utility customers who install solar panels on their roofs. That’s right. The power company will pay them, not the other way around.
The arrangement – known by the clunky name ‘feed-in tariff’ – is still a rarity in the United States. But Palo Alto officials want to help pioneer the effort. They’ve even rebranded their pay-for-sunshine plan with a clever acronym they hope will catch on: CLEAN (short for Clean Local Energy Accessible Now).
Under a pilot program that will kick off April 2, the City of Palo Alto Utilities will sign 20-year contracts with local producers that will pay them 14 cents per kilowatt-hour.
That’s about double what the utility currently is paying for hydro-electric power, Palo Alto’s single largest source of electricity. But it’s on par with the wind and biogas energy that the city imports from other parts of the region, according to Jon Abendschein, resource planner with City of Palo Alto Utilities.
Plans call for 4 megawatts of solar panels to be installed during the pilot, enough to power about 1,200 homes. Only large commercial projects are eligible for now. But if the test is successful, Palo Alto may expand the opportunity to homeowners.”
We look forward to this plan’s extension to home owners and think that here in Phoenix we would all benefit from a plan where Phoenix solar installers could provide home owners with a way to feed energy back into the grid with their own rooftop solar panels in Phoenix.
Not sure how far off something like this plan is for Phoenix at the moment, but ASU solar panel installations across the valley, Arizona solar tax credits and federal rebates, along with one of the largest ever solar loans in history having been given to Arizona last year by the Department of Energy bodes well for a fruitful future in solar energy for Phoenix!