Community Solar is a different model for solar energy. Instead of putting a solar array on an individual home, which requires home ownership, the right sunny location, a load bearing roof and fairly large upfront investment, Community Solar brings together a group of participants to build one larger solar array.

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Production Snapshot

Community Solar

After an overwhelming interest in Community Solar, PUD 1 moved forward with project here at the PUD warehouse. The site location was chosen for its solar exposure, visibility and cost-effective proximity to existing electrical infrastructure. The arrays were installed ahead of schedule and the project began generating electricity to the PUD 1 electric grid in April of 2016 ahead of schedule.

We had 121 participants in the 19.25 kW project. For the life of the solar projects (estimated to be 20 years) participants will receive an annual bill credit for the percentage of energy generated. Through the year 2020, participants will also receive a generous Washington State Production Incentive specifically for Community Solar, which is double the incentive for personal systems on a single home.

The PUD would like to thank all the customers who registered to participate, in addition to Bonneville Environmental Foundation for their support in planning the project and South Sound Solar for all of their continued support and follow up on the quality of the equipment and data reporting.

Read the Mason County Journal article on the project here. To review the last version of the Frequently Asked Questions on the project, click here. View the Participation Agreement here.

Community Solar Payback Calculator

The Community Solar Payback Calculator is intended to assist Mason PUD 1 customers in making their decision to participate in Mason PUD 1's Community Solar project.

1. Based on existing incentives included in Washington State law set to expire June 30, 2020.

2. An energy investment's Simple Payback Period is the amount of time it will take to recover the initial investment in energy savings, dividing initial installed cost by the annual energy cost savings. While Simple Payback is easy to compute, its weakness is that it fails to factor in: the time value of money, inflation, project lifetime or operation. To take these factors into account, a more detailed Lifecycle Cost Analysis must be performed. Simple Payback is useful for making "ballpark" estimates of how long it will take to "recoup" an initial investment.

3. Estimated payback calculation is based on numerous assumptions including the capacity factor of the units, Washington State incentive, price per installed kW, no cost of financing, etc. There is no guarantee of the estimated payback period.

4. Estimated payback calculation does not take into account the Federal Investment Tax Credit or the taxability of the incentive payments for State or Federal purposes. Please consult your tax advisor.