- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Cedar Falls Utilities is constructing a garden of solar panels on the western side of the city as part of a project for its customers.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/1o7CkKE ) reports that more than 1,200 electric customers, about 6 percent of the company’s customer base, are participating in the Simple Solar project in which customers can purchase solar “shares” at $399 each. The price ended up dropping to $270 a share due to a large customer response.

About a fourth of the customers are increasing the number of units they want, CFU officials said.

Participating customers will receive a monthly credit on their bill for electricity generated at the garden.

Work for the project began before the holiday season, and solar panels arrived for installation this month.

“The project is on track to deliver test energy in February,” CFU general manager Jim Krieg said. “All of the racking steel is installed. All of the panels have been installed.” Electrical conduit work continues.

CFU launched the project due to many factors, including a federal tax credit incentive set to expire in 2016 that will pay for up to 30 percent of the investment.

Participating customers range from homeowners to businesses to the University of Northern Iowa, which has committed to buying approximately 20 percent of the project.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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