Chugach Electric customers will soon have the option to purchase solar power.

Earlier this week the Chugach Board of Directors approved a first-of-its-kind community solar project.

The estimated $2 million project will have about 2,000 solar panels that provide 550 megawatts hours a year for a total of 500 homes; that amount of energy is equivalent to 15 percent of those homes’ energy use.

In August, a company survey of 700 people found 63 percent of those customers supported the project and would be willing to pay more for solar power.

Sean Skaling, the manager of sustainable program development, said it’s important for the utility company to provide more options for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint.

“This project fits Chugach’s sustainability philosophy and that philosophy is about looking at the economic impacts, the social impacts and the environmental impacts of the decisions we make,” Skaling said.

Construction at a lot off Minnesota Drive could begin as soon as April 2018. Chugach Electric wants to have 80 percent of the 500 shares pre-sold before building begins.

Customers interested in getting on a wait-list can email