MARION STATION, Maryland – Many non-profits work with tight budgets and try to keep their overhead costs low, which makes installing a traditional solar system difficult with the large upfront cost. However, Somerset Community Services has taken a different approach to solar by pursuing a Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with Sunstream Energy and Paradise Energy Solutions. Somerset Community Services Executive director Sandy Adkins explains, “We had been wanting to do something ‘green’ for some time, had looked into wind turbines, but a solar PPA was more feasible.”
The PPA terms specify that Somerset Community Services will buy electricity from Sunstream Energy LLC. at a low fixed electric rate for 20 years and in turn, Sunstream Energy LLC. will lease land from Somerset Community Services, own, and maintain the solar system. Paradise Energy Solutions then procures and builds the solar system– all of this requiring no expense for Somerset Community Services.
The construction for the 141.96 kilowatt (kW) solar system at Somerset Community Services was completed in early January of 2015. The solar system is estimated to save Somerset Community Services $2,000 on electric cost the first year, and over $465,000 over the next 25 years. “Every non-profit should at least consider a solar PPA, you can’t lose, Adkins says enthusiastically.”