Whatever a calculated dollar cost comparison ends up showing, a quick judgement of the results can be misleading. When the true cost of the many related burdens of using conventional fuels is accurately measured, and the early-adoption costs of solar decrease, (due to larger amounts of users, for one thing) we will recognize favorable metrics.
As for a declared "fee for charging up", the cost should be considered paid as part of tuition, just as any 110v 'mains' power being used by students must be budgeted for by the university.
One benefit from a project like this is seeing a leader like a university make an investment that shows commitment and the will to engage in using other forms of power. This project will prove the concept, grow a user base, help identify potential design changes, and provide a needed feature for users in need of charging capacity.
The benefits in the early going can't be fairly judged for their value purely on today's costs, as if complete price parity on the moment describes whether it is a worthwhile investment going forward. Not to mention that examining the true dollar costs of conventional fuels to our society can make a real dollars-and-sense argument for pursuing projects like this. Such costs are not shown on your utility bill. Nevertheless they do require payment by citizens and ratepayers. Think air pollution, health effects, growing encroachment on quality of life by extractive industry, and vulnerability to a one-solution energy plan leading to monopoly behavior.
I don't work for a solar company, and I have no vested interest in this subject other than a reasonable expectation that our communities can choose a wise course for the future.
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