Benton PUD builds the first community solar project in Prosser - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton PUD builds the first community solar project in Prosser

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PROSSER, WA- Tuesday April, 26 Benton PUD held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its community solar project located at the Prosser Benton PUD facility. The Old Inland Empire Community Solar project is the first one to be built in Prosser but the second community solar project for Benton PUD. 

The project was $135,575 and is funded entirely by customer participation. For this project, there are 42 participants but initially, there were so many members of the community interested they had to do a random drawing of the interested customers to cut the list down. 

The site is home to 88 solar panels all manufactured by Itek Energy in Bellingham. Benton PUD General Manager Chad Bartram says having the solar array completely Washington made helps them meet state incentive requirements, "a lot of times people think of solar panels they think about them being made over seas, primarily out of China, but we do have some in state manufacturers over in Bellingham part of the state incentive program is the more the parts, the pieces, the panels that are made here in Washington, the higher the incentive, so this project qualifies for the highest incentive available under the state". 

The project is expected to generate enough electricity to meet the needs to two average homes on a yearly basis.