Tucson residents can buy blocks of solar power

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — 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.