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Tucson residents can buy blocks of solar power

In this Nov. 29, 2010 file photo and released by China's Xinhua News Agency, workers check on solar panels in Yulin, northwest China's Shaanxi Province. In late 2009, President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao announced an ambitious array of joint clean energy research projects touted as a mark of a maturing relationship and an alliance to fight climate change. A year after Obama's visit to China, the envisioned partnership has largely evaporated. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Xiao, File)

(AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Xiao, File)

Customers of Tucson Electric Power are being offered the chance to buy power from the company’s newest solar plant.

The electricity from the large array of photovoltaic panels will be available at the end of January. Customers must agree to pay an additional $3 a month for each 150 kilowatt hour block.

Customers can buy some or all of their power from the new plant. It was built at the University of Arizona’s Science and Technology Park.

The power is more expensive now, but the price is fixed for 20 years. That means buyers could see substantial savings if regular power rates rise.

The 1.6 megawatt system will produce enough power for 1,600 blocks. More power will become available as the utility completes additional solar power installations.

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