LINCOLN – Customers of Lincoln Electric System will have the chance to bring more clean energy to Lincoln by supporting development of a local solar power generating installation under a project authorized by the Administrative Board Friday (7/18).
Through the LES SunShares project, customers voluntarily can contribute funds through their monthly electric bill to help fund a community solar facility. SunShares can be purchased for as little as $3 a month. The level of LES SunShares participation will influence project size, with the highest-value project selected to continue diversifying the LES resource portfolio while decreasing reliance on fossil fuels.
“LES’ SunShares project provides all LES customers an affordable opportunity to be involved in the development of solar-generated electricity,” said LES Administrator & CEO Kevin Wailes. “In addition to being a member of a pioneering group that will help bring solar energy to Lincoln, participants will be helping to fund an installation that potentially will be one of the largest in the state and region.”
“For many customers, it isn’t feasible or affordable to put solar panels on their roof. SunShares provides everyone a solar energy opportunity,” said Clint Bruhn, LES senior engineer and community solar project manager.
SunShares was initiated after a 2013 survey indicated many LES customers are interested in, and willing to contribute to, the development of renewable energy resources in and around the LES service territory.
LES issued a request for proposal for a range of differently sized solar installations and received 14 responses encompassing 78 proposals due to allowed variations in pricing, structure, size and location. After a review of the submissions, LES narrowed the list to nine respondents whose proposals were considered the most technically and economically viable. Staff expects to select a developer and sign an agreement by the end of the year. Construction and commercial operation of the facility is scheduled for 2015.
Customers can enroll in the SunShares project beginning Aug. 2, 2014. For more information on the project, visit www.les.com.