Friday, July 11, 2014

More Columbus Wi Solar Farm Information

More information is coming forward about the proposed Columbus Solar Farm (or whatever it's fancy name is) and I am personally excited about this prospect.  

We recently had our house evaluated for a solar water heater and I believe this option is better then having a solar panel on the house.  

BUT - the city needs to know if they will have customers and you can help - but first let me explain everything.

WPPI - Who Columbus and 40+ other communities buy power from wants to have two communities be their flagship for this new venture but there are some serious requirements. 

The community must have space that is near a highway so people will see it, it must be by a sub station and it must having the backing of the community.  We have the first two but who knows about the 3rd. 

Basically WPPI would build a 400 panel solar farm and each customer would buy 1 or more shares. Each share is one panel and would cost a one time fee of $500.  For each share a customer would get a monthly credit of about 4-6% on his bill.  Doing the math this would take 20 years to pay for itself - but wait.  **  see note 

There is no maintenance or repairs from hail storms or cleaning snow off the panels like you would have with one on your roof.  No construction, nothing on your roof.   

And think about it.  If you buy 2 panels for a one time $1000 it will hurt that first year because a thousand bucks is a thousand bucks.  But after a year that pain is gone and after 5 years you don't even remember what that was BUT, you will get 10% off your bell every month for a lifetime.

The share would become part of your property and if you sell your home it becomes a GREAT selling point when you can tell the home buyer  that they will get a lifetime discount on energy. 

The arguments against this were "Why are we always the first".  Well, if Columbus truly wants to be a "Energy Sustainability Leader" this is a no-brainer.  Families look for communities that are thinking green, it shows we care.   If we don't do this let's just scrap the who green" thing we have going on as we really don't believe it.  We will become a "Do Nothing Because It's Easier" city like all other towns.  Yet another town burdened with the fear of failure which almost always means we will never succeed.

That's my tough talk  :-)

If this comes to fruition I want to purchase 2 shares.

Here is how you can help? 

Columbus Water & Light needs to know if there is enough interest in the community.  They will have 400 panels to sell but unknown if the community wants this.  If you are at all interested I urge you to contact Water & Light  (920) 623-5912  and express that interest.  It's the only way we can move forward.   We don't need to lock in 400 shares but we do need to know if there is interest.

I will urge the city departments to all buy in.

**NOTE - Actually I believe this is wrong and I'll look into it. Our Electrit bill for the last 12 months was $1,244 and 5% of that would be $62 - that means payback would be 8 years.  So I believe the 4-6% has to be a monetary number and not a percent. I can't see an industry that uses $100,000 a year getting a $5000 rebate.  I bet I am reading this wrong - the wording is "typically 4 to 6% annual investment earnings" meaning $500 (one share) *0.05 = $25