L&P Investigating Community Solar Program
[Last Updated: 1/4/2012 11:09:34 AM]

For Immediate Release


Contact: Jim Cooper, Manager of Communications & Energy Services,

               Traverse City Light & Power

               Phone: (231) 932-4560 or Email: jcooper@tclp.org

Contact: Phil Callighan, Sr. Account Executive, Knorr Marketing

   Phone: (231) 947-9707, ext. 207; Mobile: (231) 342-7590

               or E-mail: philc@knorrmarketing.com 


L&P Investigating Community Solar Program


(Traverse City, Michigan) —Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) has begun investigating a Community Solar Program which would allow many utility ratepayers to financially support one large TCL&P-owned solar photo-voltaic project. Instead of multiple solar roof projects throughout the city, customers could support and virtually own a share of a large solar project and receive a proportional share of the energy generated back as a credit on their bill. There are many facets of existing nationwide programs which need to be explored (http://nwcommunityenergy.org/solar), before a final program structure can be determined.


In a typical Community Solar Program, customers are allowed to receive the financial benefits of investing in a system, even though the system is not located at their home or business. Similar programs around the country include: a customer up-front payment of $1,000 to $2,000 to essentially buy part of a solar array; a monthly fee instead of the up-front payment; a kilowatt surcharge similar to TCL&P’s former Green Rate (originally used to support L&P’s wind turbine on M-72); or a carbon-offset approach which allows customers to purchase solar-credits to help defray the extra environmental energy costs of fossil fuel transportation or home energy use. A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere.


“TCL&P has been approached by customers who support more renewable energy, such as solar, but are unable to install their own systems because they are renters or may not have a place to install solar panels on their home or business” said Jim Cooper, Manager of Communications and Energy Services. “At recent public forums, many people, both inside and outside the Light and Power service area, said they would voluntarily pay more for green energy. The TCL&P Community Solar Program would give them the opportunity to support local solar projects.” 


TCL&P would continue to offer the Net Metering Program so customers could install renewable energy generation on their property and partially or fully offset their energy requirements.


Traverse City Light & Power (www.tclp.org) is a community-owned,

community-focused municipal utility that offers energy at low rates in the region to over 11,000 customers in Traverse City, and parts of Blair, East Bay, Elmwood, Garfield, Peninsula and Paradise townships. 

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