Grant County has been accepted for a program that will allow them to buy solar generated energy while the City of Sheridan was shut out, at least for now.
According to the Sheridan Headlight newspaper, the State Public Service Commission ruled earlier this summer that Entergy, which wanted to sell solar energy had to have potential customers log in on July 8 to apply for a limited amount of solar energy that was for sale.
The newspaper reported that the log-in portal was to be in operation at 8 a.m. and Grant County Judge Randy Pruitt said he logged in shortly before 8 to input the information and it send right at 8.” Sheridan Mayor Joe Wise said he logged in at 8 and in less than a minute had completed the city’s application.
On July 20, Pruitt received a preliminary contract and on July 24 Wise received an email saying that Sheridan was “number two on our waiting list of customers.”
Customers submitting applications on July 8 were seeing part of the 40.5 MW of electricity created by a solar array built at Stuttgart for Entergy’s use. That solar array actually creates 81 MW and Entergy wanted to use all of that power, or as much of it as needed for tax exempt customers like cities, counties and school districts that can, by state law, buy solar energy from providers.
According to the newspaper, the PSC would only approve Entergy using half of the 81 MW for tax-exempt customers with the other half going to regular customers. It also reported that a spokesperson for Entergy said the company has gone back to the PSC to seek permission to use more of the solar array so that more tax exempt customers can sign up.
Entergy is also waiting on the PSC to grant approval so the company can sign up the customers like Grant County who successfully signed up.