Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Community Solar

Thanks to all who attended our Community Solar Open House events at Everett, Mountlake Terrace and Smokey Point. If you missed them, please check out the pdf below, which features the presentation from the events.

What was presented at our Open Houses?

Community Solar FAQs

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What is Community Solar?

Snohomish County PUD is planning to launch its first Community Solar program in April 2019. Community Solar programs make it easier for customers to benefit from solar energy by purchasing “units” at a community site. This is a great opportunity for all customers, even for customers who rent, live in an apartment, or who would rather not put solar panels on their own home.

Who can purchase units in Snohomish County PUD’s Community Solar array?

All Snohomish County PUD customers with an active account may participate, except for those currently participating in the PUD’s net metering program.

How much does it cost?

The Community Solar program will sell subscriptions in 76-watt units. 5 units equal 1 full panel. Each unit will be $120 (or $600 per panel).

What do customers receive?

Customers will receive a monthly credit of $0.06/kWh on their bill equal to their portion of the solar system’s production. In addition, customers will also receive an annual incentive payment provided by Washington State. We anticipate this payment will be $0.16/kWh per year of energy produced for the first 8 years of the program, or when the PUD reaches 50% of the total solar system cost, whichever comes first

Can units be purchased for others as gifts?

Yes! Units may be purchased for others. The recipient must be a PUD customer, but the purchaser of the unit(s) does not need to be a customer. 

Can I transfer the units?

Yes, you may transfer your units to another PUD customer.

How many units should I buy?

You can buy as little or as much (up to 130 units) as works for your budget. We recommend purchasing up to the number of units that represent the amount of energy you consume annually. We estimate that each unit will produce approximately 75 kWh each year. 

Where does the energy produced by the solar array go?

The Community Solar array will have a capacity of 500 kW. The energy produced by the solar array will send power directly to the grid as well as serve as a generating unit for energy storage and vehicle-to-grid systems incorporated in the microgrid in addition to buildings on site.

How will the solar array work with the new microgrid planned for the site?

The Arlington Microgrid will include the solar array, battery storage units and a vehicle-to-grid system. In an emergency, the system will be able to be “islanded” and run independently from the electric grid, powering the future North County local office. The energy storage and vehicle-to-grid systems will demonstrate how renewable energy can pair with clean energy technologies.

Where does the money go?

Money collected from solar energy unit sales will offset the cost of construction and maintaining the solar array.

How will I know how much energy is generated by the units I own?

Data showing how much energy is generated by the community solar system will be made available on our website, making it easy to see how much energy the number of units you purchase are generating.

Can I go see the solar array?

Yes, the solar array will be located next to our Clean Energy Technology Center (to be built in 2020), at 17601 59th Ave, Arlington, 98223. The site is across from the Arlington Airport.

How do the financial costs and benefits to participants of this community solar program compare to typical residential solar systems?

We anticipate that community solar participants will see a return on their investment in less than 10 years. With state and federal incentives, this is also generally the case with individual solar systems on buildings with good solar access. One of the advantages to participating in the Community Solar program is the ability to invest in smaller increments, requiring less money upfront.

Does the PUD anticipate building additional Community Solar projects in the future?

This community solar project is a pilot for the PUD. We will determine whether or not to pursue a future project based on the outcome of this project.

Community Solar is part of the Arlington Microgrid Project. To learn more about that project, please click here.

Solar energy unit sales are scheduled to begin in April!

Would You Like to Receive Updates About this Program?

Send a request to join our Community Solar email list:

Energy Hotline:

(M-F, 8am to 5pm) 
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