Uploaded: Tuesday, February 20, 2001 2 p.m.
Rebate offered for solar power
the lights on:
An ongoing report of local power conditions
City program operates on first-come,
Thinking of switching to solar power but fear you can't afford
it? The city of Palo Alto may be able to help.
The city's PV Partners Program will assist both residential home
owners and commercial businesses interested in adopting solar power
by offering up to 50 percent of the costs of purchase and installation.
However, funding is on a first-come, first-serve basis since the
2000/2001 budget is only $124,000. To date--in addition to Palo
Alto Utility's five demonstration sites--six solar panel arrays
have been installed in the community, including the 32,000-volt
Palo Alto Hardware array. An additional eight applications are being
processed by the Utility Department.
The program was launched in May, 1999 and offers a $4 rebate per
kilowatt. To qualify, a set of requirements must be met:
All flat plate PV (photovoltaic) modules and inverters must be
on on the utility list of eligible PV modules;
The system must come with a minimum five- year warranty against
breakdown or unusual degradation;
The system must be installed by a licensed contractor, unless
installed by the purchaser;
The system must be installed in accordance with all applicable
building and national electric codes. Building permits are required
for homes while commercial buildings must go through Planning Commission
review. Building inspections are required for home and commercial
The system must be connected to the utility grid. Participants
will be switched to a "net metering" electric rate;
Users must agree to future utility inspections of the equipment
to verify PV system performance, and;
Participants must operate and maintain the system for a minimum
of five years.
How do you get the rebate? Select a qualified PV contractor and
eligible PV system to purchase; complete and submit your application
before installing your system, to reserve your payment; once your
application is approved, your system must be installed within 90
days; submit the final invoice to the city of Palo Alto Utility.
Checks will be sent out within two weeks.
A packet, including an application form and a list of approved
PV systems and installers, is available at the utilities office
on the third floor of City Hall.