A representative of Ampion Renewable Energy of Boston stopped by the Lewiston Town Board meeting on Monday, August 24 to discuss community solar options for the small town. The representative, Brian Busby, laid out the pertinent information regarding community solar and its benefits to both residents and the municipalities.
To illustrate the benefits of community solar options, Busby referred to a 29-acre solar farm managed by Ampion. According to Busby, that site generates enough electricity to power approximately 1,000 homes. He confirms that, while most of the energy produced by the facility powers the local grid, the town could enjoy the perks of the installation.
Busby further talked about how the town and its residents could benefit from community solar. He was sure to highlight the cost savings and how Ampion has offered donations toward a town fund for every subscription the solar site receives. Potential subscribers may be run through a review process that has Ampion reviewing individual accounts to determine if a household is eligible based on usage needs. Those deemed eligible for the program could receive a credit on their utility bills.
Busby went on to illustrate how the credit is determined and filtered out to individual customer accounts. He even explained how credits work when participating in community solar. As he describes it, when customers receive their 10% discount, Ampion bills the household in arrears at $.90 per dollar. For a $500 credit, the customer would receive a $450 bill from Ampion.
The Town of Lewiston is currently part of a retail energy supply service arrangement through Niagara county. That original program would not be combined with Ampion’s proposal and would remain independent.
Steve Broderick, the town supervisor, states that the board will review the proposal from Ampion. Additional action will be taken during the September meeting.