Lincoln Electrical System solar panel farm
3 years ago, LES installed its first large scale solar project near Northwest 48th and Holdrege st.
Participants can buy a panel and get credit on their LES bill each month.
"The size of this project positions it squarely as what you would call "pilot." it's big enough so that we can learn about large–scale solar, but small enough that the cost impacts aren't that great, because this project is not yet cost effective," LES Resource and Transition Planning, Scott Benson said.
This farm has 15,000 panels. So far, 400 customers have purchased about 500 panels.
It is part of the Virtual Net Metering project. The panels provide a simulation "as if the panel is on your own roof" in which customers get portion of energy from that panel.
Customers have option to purchase 1 panel for $640 in 2019, or half panels for $320. The concept makes it look like the energy the panel produces is coming from the customer's home.
On average it saves customers $32 a year on LES bills.
"So people invest in this project, shows that they want to see more things like this, and then LES takes in turn the experience that we learn from doing this project and uses it to go forward. so as you see the price of the solar drop, some days you might see LES getting a larger solar project. and if we do, it's going to be 100 percent because of what we learned out here," Benson said.
LES says the project is providing inspiration for the development of other solar farms.
This one in Northwest Lincoln is under lease on the current property for 17 more years.