What is Community Solar?
Community Solar is a sharing model for harnessing solar energy. Installing a solar array on an individual home requires home ownership, the right sunny location, a load-bearing roof and a fairly large upfront investment—but Community Solar allows a group of participants to build one larger solar array.
- Approximate number of homes powered annually by Community Solar: 30
- Total number of Community Solar participants: over 700
- Average number of units purchased by each participant: 10 units
- System Size (all five community solar sites): 319,000 watts
Our Solar Arrays
Funded by participating customers, Clark Public Utilities has committed to build and maintain five Community Solar projects adjacent to one another on-site at the utility Operations Center in Orchards. The location was chosen for its prime solar exposure, visibility and cost-effective proximity to existing electrical infrastructure. The arrays began generating electricity to the Clark Public Utilities electric grid in June 2015. Participants receive energy generation credits on their bills based on the number of units purchased. Coming soon in 2023, Clark Public Utilities, in partnership with site-host the Port of Camas Washougal, will begin construction on our next project Community Solar East! More details coming soon.
All residential customers of Clark Public Utilities were eligible to purchase one unit, equal to 1/12 of a solar panel at a cost of $100, or up to 100 units of the Community Solar Project; the first project sold out on the first day. Based on demand, four more projects were developed and units sold out in less than one month.
Community Solar Benefits
For the life of the solar projects (estimated to be 20-25 years) participants will receive an annual bill credit for the percentage of energy generated. Through the year 2020, participants also received a Washington State Production Incentive specifically for Community Solar.
The Community Solar array is also the biggest in Clark County and provides educational benefits as well as clean, local, renewable energy in our community.