Sleepy Eye Public Utilities has announced a voluntary program that allows its public power customers to purchase R4 solar panel subscriptions.

Sleepy Eye Public Utilities has announced a voluntary program that allows its public power customers to purchase R4 solar panel subscriptions to a community solar billboard in Sleepy Eye. In exchange for buying a solar subscription that represents energy needs, subscribers will receive an offsetting financial credit on their utility bill representing the solar panel’s production.

For residential and commercial customers who are interested in solar, R4 Solar offers access to a price-competitive and hassle free way to achieve environmental stewardship. The four R’s of R4 represent the utility’s practices that “Are For” utilizing sources of renewable energy, reducing unnecessary energy use, respecting the environment, and repeating steps toward responsible energy practices.

“At Sleepy Eye Public Utilities we value our customers and as conversations about solar energy occurred we started to explore ways to help customers learn more about solar energy. We are pleased to announce that we are offering subscriptions to community solar projects including a billboard in Sleepy Eye,” said Bob Elston, Sleepy Eye Public Works Director. “Our 4 kilowatt solar billboard will be located on the roof of the municipal power plant. When the number of subscriptions exceed the size of the billboard, community solar subscriptions will be purchased from a shared municipal project near Owatonna.”

This additional solar energy will come from the Lemond Community Solar Project and is built in collaboration with several other public power municipal utilities who belong to Sleepy Eye’s joint action agency, Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (CMPAS) or Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA).

Since R4 solar panels are developed on a larger, utility-sized scale, the costs are significantly lower than rooftop installations. R4 Solar also minimizes operational issues, achieves the same environmental goals, and prevents the cross-subsidization of costs to non-solar customers. As solar subscribers pay their monthly electric utility bill, they will receive bill credit offsets as kilowatt-hours are produced from the community solar project. For every solar subscribed kilowatt produced, one less kilowatt-hour is needed from the wholesale market that mostly consists of conventional fuel resources.

More information on R4 Solar, including how to sign-up, can be found at www.cmpcs.org/ renewables.