Thirty-five solar and wind producers participating in Chelan County PUD’s Sustainable Natural Alternative Power (SNAP) program have received checks from the PUD totaling nearly $42,000, a record.
The funds are the second payment producers receive each year and are made available through the state Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive program. The state program allows utilities to pay solar and wind power producers up to $5,000 per year for their generation. Two Chelan County producers came close to reaching that cap this year. (The state’s year runs from July 1 to June 30.)
The goal of the state program is to encourage the development of small-scale renewable energy production and solar equipment manufacturing in Washington. Producers who use equipment made in Washington are paid at a higher rate.
The payment rates are:
- Solar generation using solar modules and inverters manufactured in Washington: $0.54 per kWh
- Solar generation in which only the photovoltaic modules are made in Washington: $0.36 per kWh
- Solar generation in which only the inverter is made in Washington: $0.18/kWh
- Solar generation with modules and inverters manufactured outside Washington: $0.15 per kWh
- Wind generation equipped with blades made in Washington: $0.15 per kWh
- All other electricity produced by wind: $0.12 per kWh
Chelan PUD makes the payments, and earns a tax credit equal to the cost of those payments. The incentives program began in 2005-06 and runs through June 2020.
SNAP began in 2001. The SNAP program relies on voluntary customer contributions to pay producers for their power. Those payments are made on or around Earth Day, April 22, of each year. SNAP contributions have resulted in an average payment of 21 cents per kilowatt hour over the last eight years. In 2012-13, SNAP producers shared $24,675 in customer contributions.