#Omaha Public Power District or OPPD customers who are interested in #solar power will soon appreciate a new opportunity – they will have the chance to support #solar power production because OPPD is going to begin selling shares of solar power to customers next year. Those interested in renewable energy or those fascinated by solar without the ability to afford items (such as solar panels) will be able to purchase solar shares.
Why Buying Shares of Solar Is Useful
One might wonder how purchasing shares of solar is beneficial. Let’s say that a customer purchases a few shares of solar power (perhaps, five, for the sake of this example). This could help by bringing sufficient solar power onto the Omaha Public Power District network to offset 50 percent of a home’s monthly electric usage. To explain this in a different way, each share of solar power was designed by the utility to represent approximately 10 percent of the electricity used by a typical residential customer on a monthly basis, as per Omaha World-Herald. Clearly, solar is capable of accomplishing great things, if we work together to make solar a mainstream concept.
And many people are interested in this notion. As a matter of fact, over two-thirds of Omaha Public Power District customers who were interviewed for new market research communicated that they would, at the very least, reflect on the program. Even when higher prices were brought into the picture, support was still strong. It is important to note that sign-ups in other cities (aside from Omaha) have demonstrated that the public is interested in this solar concept, and interest was apparent before these solar programs were even unveiled.
The True Cost of Solar
An OPPD approximation revealed that residential solar program members could pay around $2 more a month for every share of solar based on current solar power rates. However, these rates wouldn’t be consistent because they would change based on regional market costs for solar power, and anticipated expenses of the power purchase agreement.
Tim Burke, CEO of Omaha Public Power District communicated that it was his duty to OPPD customers to ensure all customers were able to avoid paying higher rates for power because some patrons wanted more options.
Since the Omaha Public Power District board has accepted a rate structure, this solar program could see marketing take off in the first quarter of 2019.
OPPD intends to utilize the solar power produced locally and sell any surplus of power to the regional Southwest Power Pool.
According to the Omaha Public Power District director of corporate planning and analysis, Brad Underwood, the utility would begin by offering roughly 6,000 shares of solar, but the number could change if need be.
While the program is described by Omaha Public Power District as “community solar,” it is important to note that the program does not follow your standard community solar model of sharing ownership of power profits and production. Some have shared that they believe the efforts being made by OPPD are good, but not quite good enough. For example, the president of Nebraskans for Solar, Michael Shonka, communicated that there are other utilities out there offering customers solar power at market rate, with the guarantee of financially getting ahead. No matter which way you might look at it, supporting the use of solar power is important.
#OPDD is on a path toward getting 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020. Surely there is more good news to come as it relates to solar power. Follow solar news to stay in the know!