COVID-19 has thrown all of our lives into turmoil and I realize there is not enough money for a number of items we had worked with. However, there is a pathway that I have found that will provide a reduction in Climate Change as well as reducing the monthly costs of the County’s electric bill. The Virginia legislature passed the Clean Economy Act (CEA) earlier this year. It permits a much larger number of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) than in the past. As a result of this Albemarle County can contract to a number of companies to have them install solar panels on the roofs of our government buildings. This will reduce the cost of electricity and while using clean power to reduce the County’s carbon footprint. These contracts last for 20 years with a contracted cost of electricity that is below the costs that Dominion charges.The provider pays the maintenance and repair costs of the installations during the term of the contract. At the end of the contract, the panels will still have 10-20 years left for generating power, and the County can either purchase the systems or have the contractor take the panels down. One of the solar companies is planning on charging 3% of the original cost of the system. Where the Solar companies make their profit is from the 26% federal Tax credit to the owner of the Solar systems. The County already has 6 schools with solar PPA’s installed beginning in 2015, so there is historical info already about how these systems are working.

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