Manitowoc Public Utilities Updates Community Solar Program –

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Manitowoc Public Utilities is almost ready to launch its community solar garden.

MPU Power Supply Analyst David England tells Seehafer News the solar panels are up, but now the company GRNE Solar is working on getting electricity to the panels.

The program allows MPU customers to buy a certain number of kilowatts of electricity and use solar panels as if they were on top of their houses.

However, the power isn’t directly sent to a person’s house, but customers will get credits for their account.

England says MPU’s program is different because people investing in solar programs typically pay for construction costs.

“Ours is a pay-as-you-go,” he explained. “So essentially what we’ve done is we’re working with the developer, we have an agreement with them. And we’re taking all the costs for this project and we’re turning it into a project rate on a kilowatt-hour basis. So, it makes the billing a little more complicated because you’ve got credits and charges and everything, there’s a little bit of back and forth. But in the net, there’s a savings.”

It also means customers aren’t paying upfront for the program.

This could mean some customers could save money on their energy bills, but England says that still depends on how much energy you use.

Plus, if you sign up for the program, MPU will work with you to determine how many kilowatts you should invest in.

He continues saying several residents have bought in but MPU is still accepting applications.

Right now it’s on a first come first serve basis,” he stated. “We are approximately 60% subscribed at this point. So, there is room for folks who want to sign up.”

However, you do have to be in good utility standing, meaning you pay your bills on time.

The plan is to have the solar program running by late May or early June.

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