The Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, Colorado

Solar project to power town’s water plant,

by Dennis Webb

SILT — Town officials last week cut the cake to celebrate a big new solar-energy project that’s been as easy as pie — or make that easy as PPA.

That stands for power-purchase agreement, an increasingly popular contractual mechanism that’s enabling governmental entities and other power users to tap the sun in a substantial way with virtually no up-front cost.

In Silt’s case, the project will be big enough to meet all of the electricity needs of the town’s water plant. Yet the net cost to the town was $2,000 for an engineering review with Xcel Energy. The town also allowed use of the acre of land it provided for the panels, but in return will save an estimated $100,000 or more over the next 20 years.

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