Music city spoke, and Nashville Electric Service listened. The city with a big heart asked to be more environmentally friendly in a way that the whole community can benefit from.
“NES is proud to play a key role in constructing the first community solar array in Nashville,” said Decosta Jenkins, NES president/CEO. “The Music City Solar project demonstrates the benefits of local partnerships to meet a growing interest in renewable power, and we are excited about increasing the amount of green energy in Middle Tennessee.”
Music city solar is a large solar power plant where the community shares the generation output. NES partnered with TVA and Metro to make what was once was a landfill off I-65 into what is now the site of 17,020 solar panels. The site will produce clean, efficient, and maintenance-free energy for participating customers.
During the course of 20 years, Music City Solar will produce over 55 million kilowatt hours.
“It is enough to supply energy to over 200 households per year for over 20years.” Said Tony Richman, NES energy services engineering manager.
What really sets this program apart from many others is that NES wanted to be sure that there is a community aspect to it. All NES customers are able to purchase subscriptions to individual solar panels located at the solar park and receive an energy credit on their monthly bill through the year 2038.
“It’s really about the community,” said Rich-man. “It allows NES and its customers to bring clean renewable energy to the city of Nashville, and opportunity for folks to participate who might not be able to otherwise.”
Once the solar array begins generating clean energy, subscribers will receive a monthly energy credit on their electric bill. Customers who rent or who are otherwise unable to place solar panels on their home will still reap the benefits of the program. Subscribers are able to monitor their panel output online and if they move, their subscription can be transferred to any address that is serviced by NES.
According to NES, drivers for the program are the Mayors Livable Nashville Committee and the customers themselves
“One of the goals of the Mayor’s Livable Nashville Committee is to help Nashville strive to become the greenest city in the Southeast,” said Richman. “In addition to that, we did a survey and our customer base overwhelmingly stated they wanted NES to bring cleaner renewable energy to the city of Nashville.”
“We have partnered with several financial institutions to provide cost-effective financing options for our customers,” said Jenkins. “Those needing greater financial assistance can also participate in Music City Solar via our Solar Angel program.”
The Solar Angel program is another way the program reaches out and is truly open to the community.
According to Richman, “That’s an aspect of our program that we feel like is special. It speaks to the spirit and intent of our city, being a caring, compassionate, friendly and warm city.”
NES is partnering with The Community Foundation allowing individuals and businesses to make a one-time, tax-deductible donation that will be used to purchase solar panels subscriptions to support low-income customers through energy credits for the next 20 years. Donations may also be used to provide energy efficiency and weatherization programs to those in need. A total of 5,696 solar subscriptions out of the park’s 17,020 panels have been reserved specifically for the Solar Angel program.
The initial delivery date for the program is around the first of August.
NES encourages all its customers to visit gosolarmusiccity.com and participate.