Singleton: SRP offers innovative solar option for homes - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

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Singleton: SRP offers innovative solar option for homes

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Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:03 am

Solar has become top of mind for many as the technology has become more available in the Valley of the Sun. In fact, the SRP call center receives about 1,500 calls a month related to solar.

In response to the growing interest in solar, we created the SRP Community Solar program in September 2011, and now we’ve revamped the program with new, lower prices effective May 1 of this year.

SRP has a huge customer base that can’t install solar because they are renters, have unsuitable roofs, don’t like the look of panels or don’t want to commit to long-term, complicated contracts. Others are waiting for solar prices to come down or the technology to improve before they even think about installing solar on their home’s roof.

Community Solar is a solution to these issues, allowing customers an easy, convenient way to offset up to 50 percent of their annual electric consumption with solar energy generated at Copper Crossing Solar Ranch, a local large-scale solar plant. The 20-megawatt plant is located in Florence and consists of 66,000 solar panels that track the sun throughout the day and can produce up to 40 percent more energy than stationary rooftop systems.

In order to attract even more customers to the program, SRP’s Board lowered the price of Community Solar from 11.25 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.9 cents per kilowatt-hour for residential customers. The average SRP residential retail price is 9.7 cents per kilowatt-hour. Plus, the low price will be locked in for five years, which gives customers the potential to save on the Community Solar portion of their energy bills if SRP electric prices increase.

The SRP Board has set a goal to meet 20 percent of SRP’s retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by 2020. Currently, SRP is ahead of schedule — providing about 11 percent of retail energy needs with sustainable resources, including wind, geothermal, solar, landfill gas, biomass and hydropower as well as energy-efficiency programs.

To find out more, or to sign up, visit www.srpcommunitysolar.comor call (602) 236-4448. Customer service representatives are available weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

• Lori Singleton is director of Emerging Customer Programs for Solar, Sustainability and Telecom.

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