Public Power Renewable Energy Projects
Case studies on community solar and other DG-related projects from public power utilities across the country.
Salt River Project
Community solar program closed to new subscriptions. Existing customers enrolled through the end of the 5-year initial term.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Solar SunFlower is an 18 foot high structure with 6 solar panels and capable producing 400 watts and which can be used as an educational tool for students. Students are encouraged to plug in electronic devices to see how the structure powers them. Schools can apply to have the project installed on their campuses or facilities.
SMUD also has a Solar Shares Program. Customers are able to purchase shares of a community solar (from $5 to $65 worth of shares per month) and receive bill credit.
Has issued a Request for Proposal to create a City of Palo Alto Utilities-branded Community Solar Program. The desired capacity of a 3rd-party owned, operated, and maintained community solar facility is 1 to 3 MW.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Community solar program slated to open at the end of 2015. Customers pay a monthly fee, and then receive bill credits from the project related to the shares they purchase.
Colorado Springs Utilities
Pikes Peak Solar Garden, LLC constructing a 2 MW solar garden that should open in September. Enrolled customers will receive two monthly bill credits depending on their rate class.
City of Newark
Is developing a 230 kW solar farm at McKees Park.
Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation
Developed the 15 MW Milford Solar project. Customers from member utilities pay an entry fee to join the project and receive credits based on the project’s generation.
Town of Clayton
Installed a 4 kW community solar system on Clayton Fire Department.
Orlando Utilities Commission
400 kW Gardenia facility produces an average of approximately 540,000 kWh annually. Customers can buy blocks in in increments of their choosing, from 1 kW up to 15 kW. The amount produced by the solar block is credited on the customers’ monthly bills at a rate of 13 cents per kWh.
Indiana Municipal Power Agency/Richland Power
IMPA Richmond Solar Park is a 1 MW community solar project capable of powering approximately 200 homes. Solar park utilizes a horizontal tracking system that tracks the sun throughout the day.
Indiana Municipal Power Agency
IMPA has constructed eight other solar parks in Indiana municipalities with a total combined capacity of 14.23 MW.
Cedar Falls Utility
CFU is developing a solar garden on unused city property. Over 600 people have signed up for the program, which comes with a $399 per share buy-in.
Moorhead Public Service
MPS has developed a community sloar garden project. Under the Capture the Sun program participants are able to purchase solar modules (panels). Module owners will then receive a credit for their share of each kwh produced by the solar garden.
Independence Power and Light
IPL is planning to construct a 3.3 MW solar farm. MC Power is the firm constructing the farm. Construction will begin when at least 25% of the output has been subscribed.
City Utilities of Springfield
CU Solar Initiative allows customers to subscribe up to 100% of their annual electricity usage. Solar Farm subscribers pay a fixed fuel adjustment of $.0404 per kWh produced by each subscribed block, and must commit to stay in the program for a minimum of 24 months or else pay a $100 cancellation fee.
Lincoln Electric System
The approximately 5 MW SunShares project went online in June, 2016. Subscriptions are available for $1/share a month, with a minimum of three shares required for participation.
City of Ashland, Oregon
The city has launched Solar Pioneer II, installing a 63.5 kW community solar electric system on the City service center. The system has 363 panels, available for purchase in monthly payments or a one-time fee.
EPB is partnering with TVA to construct a 1.35 MW community solar facility. The generation produced by this system is expected to produce enough to power approximately 125 homes.
Johnson City Power Board
As part of Tennessee Valley Authority's Distributed Solar Solutions pilot program, JCPB was awarded 5 MW for a solar project, part of which will be made available to residents and businesses.
CPS Energy is developing a 1.2 MW community solar project that will soon be open to customers.
Has entered into an agreement with a developer to construct a 3.2 MW solar plan in Austin. Austin Energy will purchase all of the electricity generated, which in turn will be sold to customers who subscribe to the community solar program.
City of St. George
SunSmart community solar program developed in conjunction with Dixie Escalante Electric. Customers pay an entry fee, but there are no monthly fees. Customers receive credits based on production of the shares they purchased.
Logan City Light & Power owns and operates a solar array. Residents may purchase 100 kWh shares if shares are available, or else they may go on a waiting list.
Seattle City Lights
SCL has multiple community solar developments. The initial project (2012) was the Jefferson Park project, which now generates 26,000 kWh annually. In 2013, the 44.4 kW community solar project at the Seattle Aquarium opened. Two other projects opened in 2014: the Phinney Ridge Project (74.79 kW) and the Capital Hill EcoDistrict project (25.92) kW, both of which sold out.
Clark Public Utilities
Developed four adjacent projects at the utility Operations Center in Orchards. All shares of the project sold out on the first day. One share is equivalent to 1/12 of a solar panel and costs $100. Over 700 participants in the program.
Mason County PUD
Mason County PUD has developed 3 75-kW community solar projects that are now open for subscription. 2,893 units available at $100 per unit, with a maximum purchase of 100 units. Subscribers receive an annual credit, plus a $1.08/kWh annual production incentive payment through 2020.
Cowlitz PUD plans to build up to 156 kW of capacity at the utility's operation and office buildings.
Benton PUD currently has one community solar facility with a capacity of 75 kW and is in the process of building a second 24.2 kW community solar project.
River Falls Municipal Utility
Construction began in October, 2015 for a solar garden, which will consist of 807 panels.
Imperial Irrigation District
Has partnered with GE to develop a 30 MW, 20 MWh battery storage system. The battery system would be used for “power balancing, solar integration, spinning reserve and power restoration.”
Riverside Public Utilities
RPU uses Energy Depot software in conjunction with solar rebate program and other incentives. Customers who install solar rooftop panels are required to complete an Energy Depot home or business audit.
Glasgow Electric Plant Board
Partnering with Sunverge Energy to install home battery storage units in homes of 165 customers.
Partnered with other entities to create the Energy Partners Innovation (EPIcenter), which will focus on clean energy technologies and innovation in the energy industry.
CPS has also developed a “rent the roof program” where customers receive a rebate in exchange for agreeing to install solar panels on their roofs. CPS partners with a third party for the installation and the homeowner receives a monthly credit.
Email Jillian Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org if your utility has a project you would like to add to this database.