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Community Solar at the Arlington Microgrid

Our Community Solar program will run for 20 years as part of the Arlington Microgrid Project. The program boasts 8,100 solar energy units (each unit is 1/5th of a panel). Customers could participate for as little as $120 per unit to receive a monthly credit on their bill based on their units’ production.

Note: All our Community Solar panels have been purchased.

There is no waiting list presently available. Stay tuned for more opportunities to participate.

Congratulations to the Stanwood/Camano Community Resource Center and HopeWorks Social Enterprises for being the recipients of our first Community Solar Income-Qualified Pilot grants!  Read more about how these two organizations will be putting solar energy to work for community members in need.


Update on the year-end incentive program

Community Solar participants will receive a check for Washington State Renewable Energy System Incentive Program funds. We anticipate mailing out checks on behalf of the state by mid-November.

This incentive is based on electricity generated by the Community Solar array between July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. During that time, the Community Solar array produced 613,280 kWh. The incentive amount for the year-end program is $0.16 per kWh instead of the monthly rate of $0.06 per kWh.

Here’s how that pencils out:

  • 613,280 x $0.16 ÷ by 8,100 = $12.11 per unit
  • So, if you own 5 units, your check will be $60.55

Congratulations to all participants and thank you for your support of solar energy in our community! If you have any questions, please email communitysolar@snopud.com.


How we calculate your monthly solar energy credit

We use this calculation to determine your monthly bill credit:

Solar energy generated ÷ total Community Solar units (8,100) x PUD Community Solar Credit ($0.06) x number of units you purchased = Total Credit

Please note: only Community Solar participants who have paid for their units in full will receive monthly solar energy bill credits.

Community Solar monthly generation

Generation Period Amount of Energy Generation (kWh)
November 2020 15,000
December 2020 13,200
January 2020 14,640
February 2021 24,000
March 2021 55,520
April 2021 80,800
May 2021 81,920
June 2021 91,200
July 2021 88,640
September 2021 63,840
October 2021 40,160
November 2021 12,320

Community Solar frequently asked questions

Can I transfer my units?

Yes, you may transfer your units to another PUD customer. Please download and submit this form.

What if my electric account is closed (due to a move, death, divorce, etc.)?

In the event you, or your representative, needs to terminate your electric account, we will allow 60 days for solar units to be transferred or sold to another PUD electric customer. If the units have not been transferred within 60 days, the units will revert back to the PUD. If you move within PUD’s service territory and continue to be an electric customer, the units will remain with you.

Can I go see the solar array?

The solar array is located at 17601 59th Ave NE in Arlington, next to a Clean Energy Technology Center. The site is across from the Arlington Airport and can be seen from 59th Ave NE.

Where does the money go?

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

What financial credits and incentives do participants receive?

Participants receive a fixed monthly credit of $0.06/kWh on their bill equal to their portion of the solar system’s production. This is the average forecasted value of local renewable energy for the next 20 years.

In addition, customers will 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.

Which is a better return on my investment, rooftop solar or community solar?

If you are interested in putting solar panels on your home or business, we recommend getting bids from a few solar installers to weigh the costs and benefits of this option. The financial return on rooftop solar is highly dependent on solar installer costs, available state and federal incentives, and the site’s access to sunlight (i.e. free from shading).

Who pays for ongoing maintenance and repairs?

The $120 cost per solar unit is inclusive of estimated maintenance costs for the 20-year project period. Any additional maintenance or repair costs will be covered by the PUD.

In the event of a cataclysmic event, the PUD is fully insured and holds equipment warranties from the manufacturers.

Why is the project period only 20 years? I thought solar panels lasted longer.

Solar panels do usually last longer than 20 years. However, we anticipate that maintenance costs will begin to increase after 20 years. We decided to end the project at this point instead of including additional maintenance costs in the solar unit cost.

What happens at the end of the 20-year project period?

At the end of the project period, contracts with participants, including the energy credit, will end and energy production will revert back to the PUD.

Is this Community Solar project eligible for the Federal Investment Tax Credit?

We do not think participants in this project would be eligible for the Federal Investment Tax Credit, as participants will not own the physical asset. However, we encourage participants who are interested in this incentive to consult with a tax professional.

Where does the energy produced by the solar array go?

The Community Solar array has a capacity of 500 kW. The energy produced by the solar array sends power directly to the grid and serves 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 community office. The energy storage and vehicle-to-grid systems will demonstrate how renewable energy can pair with clean energy technologies.