Trolling the net, either one of the following two headlines would have sufficiently sparked my interest, but the fact that these two headlines were dated within less than a month apart from one another doubled my interest level:
- April 19, 2017 - "El Paso's First Community Solar Program Fully Subscribed"
- March 20, 2017 - "El Paso Electric’s New Community Solar Program Open for Enrollment"
Less than one month after enrollment began, El Paso Electric’s new Community Solar Program reached full capacity and was fully subscribed. The El Paso Electric daily Construction Cam shows the facility being completed over the course of spring, 2017.
“We’re very excited to see that our customers have really embraced Community Solar,” said Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric Chief Executive Officer. “The quick subscription time demonstrates our community’s interest in different options that provide more accessibility to solar power.”
Customers can still sign-up for the program online but will be placed on a waiting list. If capacity becomes available at a later time, these customers will be contacted on a first-come first-served basis. Customers may visit epelectric.com to learn more, or to see the construction progress of the facility.
In March 2017, when El Paso Electric (EPE) started accepting subscriptions, it represented not only EPE’s first-ever Community Solar Program, but the first such program of its kind in the entire state of Texas. The program provides a new, voluntary alternative to the customer-owned rooftop solar option, giving customers with the opportunity to subscribe to solar generation from a new three-megawatt solar facility.
“El Paso Electric is excited to offer this new option that makes solar power more widely available to all of our Texas customers,” said Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric CEO. “Community Solar really expands on our commitment to invest in renewable technology for the benefit of our community and environment.”
An advantage versus homeowner-owned rooftop solar is that the voluntary pilot program is available to all Texas customers – whether they are homeowners or renters or business owners; and the subscription is portable anywhere within EPE’s Texas service territory. Customers will be able to subscribe to solar generation in 1 kilowatt (kW) blocks and will pay a fixed rate of $20.96 per kW for this capacity. The rate for this portion of your energy bill is locked in, and cannot increase for as long as you remain in the program, and may even decrease over time. Customers are able to calculate the right amount of solar for their home or business by using our energy calculator.
Construction of the Community Solar facility began in November 2016 in the Montana Power Station Complex in east El Paso. With facility completion subscribers will start seeing solar credits from the program reflected on their electric bill, according to the solar output for the month.
The voluntary pilot program is available to all Texas customers - homeowners, renters and business owners; and the subscription is portable anywhere within EPE’s Texas service territory. Customers are able to subscribe to solar generation in 1 kW blocks and will pay a fixed rate of $20.96 per kW for this capacity with solar and fuel credits offsetting the price.