Solar Panels Going Up on Washington Schools

Alcoa Wenatchee Works is starting a new program to fund the installation of solar panels at schools and nonprofit agencies in cooperation with Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD).

Malaga, Washington – August 4, 2003 [] The endowment will provide direct funds to purchase US$439,740 in solar power equipment, and arrange for labor valued at US$666,810 to be donated by Alcoa employees to install the solar systems. Installation of up to 35 systems in Chelan County would begin soon and be completed by the end of the year. Half the revenue from solar power generation at each site funded by Alcoa will be returned to the school or nonprofit organization. The other half will be placed into a trust fund to be used at Alcoa’s discretion for community projects. Applications from interested schools and nonprofit groups will be accepted immediately. Payments to the participants for the energy generated will be made through the PUD’s Sustainable Natural Alternative Power (SNAP) program, which relies on customer donations for support. Estimates for the revenue that will be returned to the schools and nonprofit groups range from US$164,000 to US$300,000 over 10 years, depending on the number of panels at specific locations, the amount of energy generated and the community support for SNAP. The estimates are based on the installation of up to 50kW of solar generation under the Alcoa endowment. Chelan County PUD launched the SNAP program in 2001 and has four local solar power producers and two local wind power producers. The program generated 30,722 kW hours of electricity in 2002-03.
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