Thumbs up to Benton PUD’s community solar project

Hot tip on power source

To Benton Public Utility District’s innovative approach to bringing solar power online.

Some people want to be involved in alternative energy sources, but don’t have the means or space to put solar panels on their house. Now those folks can get some buy-in to a new solar project — figuratively and financially.

The 270 solar panels at Highway 395 and West 10th Avenue in Kennewick will be adding power to the grid, and people who buy into the project will get a proportionate credit on their electricity bill, along with a state production incentive of $1.08 per kilowatt hour.

We like that the PUD is making a community solar project available to those who want to participate without charging people who are not on board.

The idea is generating community interest. In fact, there’s a lottery to get into the program.

Commissioner Jeff Hall said the PUD wanted to take advantage of the state production incentive while it’s available.

This project is an excellent step toward the future.

Cancer center expansion

To the fight against cancer in the Mid-Columbia.

The Tri-Cities Cancer Center is expanding and renovating its facilities and bringing in a $4 million Edge Radiosurgery System. It will be the second system installed on the West Coast, and it’s an expensive proposition.

Kudos to the cancer center foundation and to the cancer center staff’s annual giving campaign for their financial support. Mission Support Alliance, Umpqua Bank and our three hospitals are sponsors, as well.

It’s a group effort. We’re pleased to see the cooperation.

Oso mortgages

To owing a mortgage on property with no value.

On the one-year anniversary of Washington’s Oso mudslide, things are finally starting to settle. People are starting to make peace with their grief. Some, unfortunately, are behind on the mortgage to homes that don’t exist.

It’s a sticky mess.

According to the Seattle Times, there are 35 families with lost or damaged homes who are working with a nonprofit housing-counseling agency. Five have reached a settlement on debts, and another 15 are in tentative agreements. Some survivors have paid off the debts they aren’t actually liable for.

These families have lost so much already. There must be a way to relieve them from the compounded grief of debt. Lenders need to speed up this process.