Company May Offer Chance to Buy Solar Power Farm

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COLUMBIA - Residents could be able to purchase their own section of a solar panel to power their home if a new idea from Columbia Water and Light gets approved.

"The model that we're looking at would be someone would buy it in one kilowatt blocks," said Connie Kaprowicz, the Columbia Water and Light Communications and Marketing Supervisor. But this model is still in the early stages. Kaprowicz said the department still has to work out some details and it has not been presented to the city council yet.

The department already has an area where these new panels could go off of Bernadette Drive in Columbia. There are already a couple solar panels there for the city.

"Columbia Water and Light has some property behind the West Ash pump station," Kaprowicz said. "The program would pay for itself over time because the solar subscribers would be paying for the cost to install and maintain those solar panels."

Kaprowicz said this program could be great for people who have homes or businesses in the shade, that have homes not conducive to solar panels or who may move soon. The program would allow them to utilize the energy of solar panels without having to go through the installation process. She said after some initial market research, it seems many people are interested and would probably want to be involved if the program is approved.

"We would like to have it installed in 2014, but it might be early 2015," Kaprowicz said.