Have you heard of a solar power purchase agreement (also known as a PPA)? These contracts are becoming a popular way by which to finance solar panels and enjoy the benefits of solar electricity without the upfront costs. Some residential property owners have entered into PPAs, but often they are used by businesses, corporations and governments.
The City of Broomfield, Colorado is one municipality that is giving its taxpayers a big break over the next 20 years. The City estimates it will save nearly half a million dollars in operating costs due to a solar power purchase agreement with Lighthouse Solar. According to Geoff Manchester, VP of Operations at Lighthouse Solar:
“The big story is that the city paid nothing to get all the advantages of solar power. And now they can budget around a fixed electricity cost for the next 20 years.”
Under a PPA, the City only pays for the clean solar electricity generated by solar panels. It doesn’t purchase the panels, maintain or even insure them. Lighthouse Solar owns and operates the solar panel system. Not only is the City’s monthly payment for solar energy generated lower than current grid-based electricity, but the amount will not rise at the same rate as utility hikes over the next 2 decades.
The solar electricity production for the City of Broomfield will be approximately 588,720 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually.