The following is some information regarding a presentation that will be made at the next Village Council Meeting on June 20, 2017, concerning a proposed community solar pilot program:
Community Solar for NCC
Maryland is launching a new “community solar” pilot program.
Explore your options
With community solar, you can:
- Buy a share of solar electricity, OR
- Own panels in a local community solar project
You’ll still get any extra power you need from Pepco.
Support the environment
Through community solar, we can reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Savings estimate: 10% below Pepco rates. If you own panels, the electricity is free.
Let us know! Don’t worry—no commitment is needed now. But we do need an estimate of interested NCC households.
Please email our neighborhood working group at [email protected] by Wednesday, June 14th.
For more information, see next page and https://northchevychase.org//www.psc.state.md.us/electricity/community-solar-pilot-program/ – and there’ll be a presentation and Qs & As at the June 20th Village Council meeting.
Maryland is launching a new “community solar” pilot program, which can give NCC residents who participate a chance to have solar power even without putting panels on our own roofs. Many of us are interested in solar power, but think our houses get too much shade, our roofs are not suitable, and so on. We are concerned about the environment, but not sure where to start. Plus, most of us are too busy to look into the details of solar. The community solar program makes it easier.
The Public Services Commission, Maryland utilities (including Pepco), and solar developers have come together to give Marylanders in all types of homes options to support solar. Households can participate in two ways:
- Buy a share of solar electricity: Contract to buy a share of the electricity produced from a solar “array” (panels in our area).
- Own panels in a local community solar project: A community solar array doesn’t have to be located in the community itself, or even in the same county. For us, it just has to be within Pepco’s territory.
No matter which option you choose, Pepco will still deliver whatever power you need from the grid and will subtract the value of the solar energy from your household’s total bill.
What you pay for the solar electricity will vary with specific projects. However, several planned projects are estimating a power cost about 10% below Pepco’s current rates. For those who actually buy panels in a shared array, the electricity will be free. The cost of buying panels will vary based on the size of the project, its location, and other factors but should be $10,000 to $17,500 for an average household’s needs (less than installing them on your roof). Smaller shares that cover less than your total energy consumption may be available. Also, there may be financing options for buying shares.
We can make the most of this unique community solar opportunity by joining together. NCC residents can individually seek and sign up for community solar projects once they are established. BUT there may be substantial savings if multiple residents approach solar projects as a group, because that will save solar development companies a large amount in up-front marketing cost. By interested neighbors joining together, we can negotiate power cost savings (for power purchase contracts) or per panel costs (for folks who want to own part of an array).
Community solar developers will be beginning their projects as soon as late June or July. We would like to talk with several of them now about costs for interested NCC members. To do this, it will be important to have an estimate of how many NCC households might be interested (without commitment at this point). To help us get that estimate, please send an email to [email protected] by Wednesday, June 14th with the following info:
- Name and address
- “I am potentially interested in…
- …buying a share of solar electricity,” or
- …owning panels in a community solar project,” or
- …both options.”
- And, if appropriate, “If I choose to own panels in a community solar project, I may consider financing options.”
Again, there is no commitment needed at this point. Our working group will compile this information and start collecting responses from solar developers. We will share updates as we get them and have open meetings as appropriate, starting with an update for NCC Village residents at the June 20th council meeting.
We are enthusiastic about this unique opportunity for NCC residents to take a step toward reducing consumption of fossil fuels and to save money at the same time.
Al Bartlett, M.D. (3702 Kenilworth Dr.), Guim Barbour (3705 Kenilworth Dr.), Mana & Matt McNeill (8921 Montgomery Ave.), Promodh Malhotra (3602 Dundee Dr.)