COMMUNITY SOLAR GARDEN DECLARED UNFEASIBLE
on Monday, May 21, 2018
WAVERLY, Iowa (May 21, 2018) – The sun is setting on Waverly’s “Let’s Grow Solar” community solar garden project.
“We began this project with one main tenet in mind – only those customers interested in solar would be involved in the costs,” said Jere Vyverberg, Waverly Utilities board chair. “The cost encompassed all construction, infrastructure, marketing, feasibility and attorney fees. There would be no cross-subsidies from other rate-payers. Once we factored in the final bid prices, the total project costs were simply too high to continue at this time.”
Sealed bids were due May 1. After opening the bids and tabulating all associated costs, the price per solar panel was significantly higher than projected. The original feasibility study listed costs of $480-$515, and a later customer survey showed Waverly residents were willing to pay a maximum of $555 per panel. The actual costs came in at $740.
“In addition to the costs, we also had lower participation than anticipated,” said Vyverberg. “To successfully move the project forward, we needed 75% participation, or 1,125 panels sold of the 1,500 planned. We were at 17%. That tells us Waverly is not quite ready for a community solar garden at this time.”
Waverly Utilities remains dedicated to exploring clean energy alternatives and will continue to monitor solar costs to see if the project becomes viable in the future.
“We’d like to thank everyone who supported the project and showed excitement for the possibility of solar in Waverly. With the work accomplished thus far, we’ve got a solid foundation for growth in the future,” said Vyverberg.