Solar energy

Kearney’s solar energy facility is part of NPPD’s community solar program, SunWise.

Nebraska Public Power District continues to put a charge into sustainable, eco-friendly innovation — and people are noticing.

In June, the American Public Power Association recognized NPPD’s efforts with the 2019 Energy Innovator Award.

One of NPPD’s clean energy innovations is its SunWise Community Solar Program in which retail customers purchase solar energy without having to install rooftop panels on their homes. The program makes it convenient for customers to utilize sustainable energy while reducing their own carbon footprint.

NPPD’s solar panels at its solar energy facilities convert natural sunlight into direct current power that is then converted into standard electrical currents used in the home to power everything from TVs and garage door openers to lights and appliances.

“Solar subscribers in participating communities can buy different amounts of solar energy based on their annual electricity usage,” says Tim Arlt, general manager of NPPD’s retail division. “So far, it’s been very popular with our retail community partners.”

The SunWise Community Solar Program is cost-effective for consumers because it does not involve roof panels, maintenance fees, added taxes, insurance or electrical inspections, Arlt says.

“Plus, you don’t have to own a home to enjoy NPPD’s solar power. Duplexes, condominiums, apartments, businesses – they can all participate in the SunWise program,” he says. “Larger community projects can be installed and maintained at a much lower cost than installing dozens of smaller projects on rooftops, saving participants money. By working together, we all benefit.”

Three NPPD retail communities — Venango, Scottsbluff and Kearney — offer Community Solar, with more actively pursuing the opportunity.

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