The Ramona Municipal Water District (RMWD) announced Tuesday to the water board that the full $25,000 application fee for both the Santa Maria and San Vicente Solar Projects would be refunded.
Water District General Manager David Barnum told the board that the San Vicente Solar Project's $10,000 application fee had been refunded by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) at the Sept. 25 board meeting.
At the Oct. 9 meeting, Barnum said that after negotiations with legal counsel and the CCSE, the entire $25,000 application fees for both projects is currently in the process of being refunded.
"There was no investment upfront," Barnum said, adding that for no additional investment, ratepayers will receive savings.
"Every little bit helps in this economy," said water board President Bryan Wadlington. "I appreciate it."
The Santa Maria Solar Project had a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 2 and consists of of 2,156 modules and is said to help save RWMD customers . The solar project is owned and operated by Enfinity, who will sell power to Ramona through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). It provides 80 percent of electrical usage for the Santa Maria Water Reclamation Plant.
The San Vicente Solar Project is on hold indefinitely due to expired rebates from the federal government. County liens on the property of San Vicente Water Reclamation Plant delayed the solar project, resulting in the expired rebates. Barnum told Patch that the water district is waiting "for the next oppotunity" to continue the project.
Barnum said that all RMWD facilities will be looked at when the next grant, or rebate opportunity, from the federal government becomes available, but that originally, the two wastewater plants made the most sense for solar projects.