A community solar development is heading its way to Oregon with the help of Neighborhood Power and Mana Monitoring. The partnership came about as a means of delivering lower-cost energy to residents of Oregon while providing an environmental benefit to the local ecology. Neighborhood and Mana Monitoring are expecting to develop four 2.5-megawatt community solar arrays. As of now, three of the facilities are online and are supporting customers within Portland General Electric service territories. The quartet of projects is also the first to be commissioned as part of the Community Solar Program of Oregon State.
At the onset of the new community solar arrays, two subscribers have already been secured. WolrdMark by Wyndham and Daimler Trucks North America, LLC have previously signed on to the operational facilities. The locations were quick to subscribe to the new developments to commit to their own clean energy goals, partially by reducing their carbon emissions. Neighborhood Power states that, at the time of the announcement, there were still subscriptions left. Any person or business that opts to take advantage of the community solar subscription benefits from reduced energy costs while taking part in reducing the long-term effects fossil fuels and traditional energy has on the environment.
By joining Oregon’s community solar effort, these businesses can serve as an inspiration to other, similar small businesses. According to the plan for these community solar arrays, subscribers can be small businesses so long as their energy consumption is less than 30-kilowatts. This can include small offices, car washes, restaurants, and gas stations. Homeowners are also eligible to become subscribers, so long as they fall under a low-income bracket. No matter who fulfills the final participation slots, the facilities will play an integral role in reducing the state’s carbon emissions.
Oregon’s Community Solar Program allows these community solar arrays to offer low-cost energy to low-income individuals and tenants. To ensure the savings are passed down to residents that really need it, the program has an income bracket in place, which is structured to service underserved communities and expand the reach of clean, renewable energy to beyond homeowners that can afford to place solar panels on their roof. Under the state’s Community Solar Program, the facilities can generate anywhere from 5 to 20% cost savings on a household’s annual energy bill.
Programs like Oregon’s Community Solar Program are designed to help a bevy of individuals but are specifically geared towards renters and homeowners who either cannot afford to install private panels or have no space for them. The community solar arrays being activated by Neighborhood Power and Mana Monitoring will generate electricity that will offset a fair amount of power used by the average household. Along with the cost-saving benefits, these facilities pump revenue into the local municipalities and are a benefit to the environment. That’s why states like Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico have joined the push for more community solar. In fact, New Mexico legislatures recently passed Senate Bill 84 and signed it into law to create a program dedicated to community solar. With Senate Bill 84, New Mexico now has the regulations needed for developers to move forward with development proposals that can save homeowners and small businesses money.
According to Benjamin Collinwood, Neighborhood Power’s VP of sales, the company believes that every homeowner and business should be able to benefit from clean energy. However, it also understands that not everyone has the ability to have their own panels constructed. Because of this, Neighborhood Power shifted to include community solar arrays, Collinwood confirmed. The VP of sales also noted that Mana Monitoring will play an active role in ensuring the facilities run at peak performance every day to ensure subscribers receive the energy they expect
Mana Monitoring is providing its proprietary platform, which will track and report the production at each farm. If there is an unexpected fluctuation, the program is also designed to fix it without unnecessary human interference. The program will oversee all four facilities, providing maintenance as needed throughout the life of the four projects. Zoltan Milaskey, Mana Monitoring’s president, states that real-time monitoring is a vital part of a successful community solar facility. Without it, issues may arise and be overlooked for far-too-long, which will reduce the savings subscribers receive and the number of carbon emissions reduced over the lifespan of the project.
Milaskey confirmed that the program used by Mana Monitoring has been managing more than 500-megawatts across the nation. These facilities have been running with the program to guarantee a successful run. Though including Mana Monitoring may come with increased costs to run the facility, the features of its monitoring program is well worth those additional costs.
Neighborhood Power has not confirmed a timeframe for the latest of its community solar arrays. With only one facility remaining as part of its place in the Oregon Community Solar Project, it’s likely that the solar company will move quick to bring it online and continue on to achieve its ultimate goal of helping everyone reach net-zero carbon emissions. With every facility it helps construct and bring online, the company is doing all it can to promote sustainability, renewable energy, and the importance of clean sources.
As stated, there are still spots left at the community solar spot. Interested parties can find out more information on Neighborhood Power’s official website. The site features a resource for community solar for individuals interested to learn more about the topic.