Under a proposal filed recently with the Arizona Corporation Commission, Phoenix, Arizona Public Service (APS), Phoenix, will hire solar contractors to install and maintain solar panels to the rooftops of homes and businesses in Flagstaff, Ariz., with no up-front costs to customers. Through terms of the Community Power Project, APS will own, operate, and receive energy from solar panels on eligible customer rooftops. In exchange, customers will receive a long-term community power rate for the solar portion of their bill, which will remain fixed at a guaranteed level — approximately equivalent to what they pay today — for 20 years.

APS intends to generate 1.5MW of electricity from the Community Power Project. Under the current plan, 200 to 300 qualified participants will be interconnected with the electrical grid along a single electric distribution area. Additionally, APS will install utility-scale banks of solar panels and small wind turbines in the test area. The company also plans to install 50 solar water heaters in the pilot area on homes of customers with limited incomes.