CBS Detroit // Jun 11, 2013
Traverse City, Michigan dedicated a new community solar installation on Friday. The Cherryland Electric Cooperative and Traverse City Light & Power offered consumers the opportunity to purchase a solar panel for just under $500. The solar panels would be installed in a single location and the energy generated by each solar panel will be credited to the owner's account. Initially, the Cherryland Co-op expected to sell 48 panels. They sold 80, and they are installing several 72-panel arrays with the expectation that the program will continue to grow. Solar panel owners can expect a full payback for their panel in 15 years, according to Dave Konkle, energy programs manager for Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority. Detroit CBS reports:
“We think this is a great way to create more solar energy in Michigan,” Konkle said of the community solar concept. “Lots of people can’t install solar because they rent or they don’t have a good location on their property… There are ways you can buy solar from utilities but you don’t get anything back from it. This (community solar) allows you to invest affordably in solar and get some of the ownership benefits.”Learn more about innovative sharing models for solar panels on Tom Plant's Policy Podcast.