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Snohomish County PUD solar panels
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New program offers affordable solar panels to Snohomish County

(Snohomish County PUD)

According to a report from the Everett Herald, a new program will allow homeowners and renters to buy solar panels at reduced, affordable rates.

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The program — Community Solar — starts this spring, and will allow customers to buy units in a field of solar panels in Arlington.

Units will run $120 for one-fifth of a solar panel, with investments recouped in a decade through PUD bill and clean energy incentive rebates. The Herald reports that annual savings will total $16.50, consisting of $5 in energy costs, and $11.50 on reimbursements from the state.

Customers will be able to buy up to 130 units for a total of $15,600. The average cost to cover the entire roof of a house with panels is around $25,000. The hope with Community Solar is to provide solar energy for those who wouldn’t normally be able to afford it.

Power generated from panels in houses and apartments will route directly into the grid to serve all homes that PUD serves. Participants will receive credits for the energy they create.

Construction on the field of panels — situated west of the Arlington Municipal Airport — started in February, and should be completed by May. The panels are being built by Seattle’s A&R Solar for a $900,000 price tag.

In total, there will be 8,100 units, capable of powering 50 homes a year. A similar, previous project on Orcas Island sold out an entire 1.3-acre field before the units were even finished being built.

Snohomish County PUD will be holding three open houses to field questions on the project on March 12, 14, and 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on each night. The open houses will be held at Snohomish PUD headquarters, Mountlake Terrace Library, and Lakewood/Smokey Point Library respectively.

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