HomeWorks Tri-County Cooperative has added a new renewable option to their portfolio- a community solar garden.

A solar panel dedication kicked-off the project on April 22 as employees, member-owners and the board of directors gathered at the Portland office to witness the ribbon cutting and learn more about the program. The cooperative will retain ownership of the solar panels and lease them to memembers for a one-time fee of$425 per panel (after tax credits and energy optimization rebates). Each panel will produce about 25 kWh per month, and members will receive a bill credit based on current actual power costs.

Phase one of the project includes 76 panels, each 275 watts and 1,000 volts for a total project of 20.9 kilowatts (kW).The size of the project could increase to offer 380 panels or more over the long-term.

We have the right site at Portland, along with access to both expertise and funding,” said Mark Kappler, General Manager, HomeWorks.  “By structuring this program as a community project  we can provide our members who are interested in solar energy with an affordable, convenient way to participate.”