The prominent solar leasing company SolarCity is partnering with the utility company MP2 Energy to bring “full” net metering to the Dallas–Fort Worth region of Texas — thereby putting solar energy in a very competitive position with utility power — according to recent reports.
Once instituted, the partnership will reportedly allow homeowners in the area to pay less for solar electricity than for utility power for the first time — for the first time without any local incentives, that is.
As far as the net metering goes, it should be remembered that, in Texas (until now), most electricity providers have set limits on credits for solar energy “produced” — and/or have required homeowners/leasers to forfeit “unused” solar energy at the end of the month. The new partnership, though, will change this — with MP2 Energy not implementing any kind of cap for its program, and allowing customers to carry forward any excess generation to subsequent monthly bills. Otherwise known as “full” net metering.
“MP2’s pure ‘net metering’ program is truly the first of its kind in Texas, finally making solar a viable option for residential customers,” Starcher stated. “The terms of this program can allow customers to see immediate savings on solar, and make government and local incentives — which have decreased in the past few years — less important. It demonstrates that the value of solar to electricity providers is increasing and is aligned with retail rates.”
Also worth noting is that MP2 Energy will allow customers to lock in a fixed rate for a 1–2 year period — rather than being left subject to variable prices (and/or the whims of utility companies). Interestingly, customers will also have the option of terminating their contracts without any kinds of penalties or fees.
Considering that Texas is one of the biggest electricity markets in the US, this news is notable — especially considering the state’s substantial solar energy potential (with regard to insolation levels).
“With an average of 240 sunny days per year, Texas is often considered a sleeping giant when it comes to its potential for solar power, and unlocking this state has huge implications for the solar industry at large,” stated Jeff Starcher, chairman and CEO of MP2 Energy. “To date, solar has only worked where there are local incentives. With this new partnership, we are making solar a practical option for residential customers in Texas.”
Here’s a quick overview, as worded in a recent email sent to CleanTechnica:
Under the program, SolarCity will install solar panels to provide solar electricity to Texas homeowners, and homeowners will sign up with MP2 for any additional electricity needs. MP2 will track customers’ solar energy production and consumption every month. Customers who produce more than they consume will be credited at the full-retail value for excess production, including transmission and distribution service charges.
While the program will initially only be available to those in the Dallas–Fort Worth area, the plan is for it to expand to eventually encompass much of the state… and perhaps more?
Those interested can find out more at SolarCity’s website, or via phone (1-888-SOL-CITY).
Image Credit: SolarCity
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