Community Solar FAQs
WHAT IS COMMUNITY SOLAR?
Solar communities are groups of solar panels installed at one location. They offer you a solar energy option. This means you get a credit on your bill for the solar energy generated without needing to have equipment attached to your home.
HOW DOES COMMUNITY SOLAR WORK?
You subscribe to the output from the co-op’s Community Solar site for a 20 year period. Choose the number of blocks you would like. You can add more units* at any time, as long as they are available. Once energy production begins, each month you will receive credit for a portion of the production from the Community Solar farm, based on the number of units you have chosen. You pay a portion of the cost per unit upfront, and the remainder of the cost is paid in a monthly charge. The output of those blocks is credited back to you on a cents-per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) basis. You pay a one-time fee to cover administrative costs.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Any residential member may participate in the Community Solar program on a first-come, first-served basis.
AM I BUYING A PORTION OF THE COMMUNITY SOLAR FARM OR JUST THE ENERGY FROM IT?
You are subscribing to the energy produced by the solar farm in units of kW.
ARE THERE PARTICIPATION TERM LIMITS?
The overall program term is 20 years.
IS THERE A LIMIT TO HOW MANY BLOCKS I CAN CHOOSE?
The minimum subscription is 1 unit. The maximum is 4 units.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PRODUCTION PER YEAR?
Our first Community Solar array will produce approximately 22,500 kWh per month, which is roughly equivalent to the energy used by 20 average homes in our service area. It is important to note that solar production will vary from month to month based on weather and time of year.
HOW DOES THIS COST OF COMMUNITY SOLAR COMPARE TO INSTALLING A SOLAR POWER SYSTEM ON MY HOUSE?
While the cost of installing solar panels on your home varies greatly from house to house, the pricing for our Community Solar program is in line with the average cost of putting solar panels on the home — without having equipment installed on your property.
IF MY SOLAR SUBSCRIPTION PRODUCES MORE ENERGY THAN I USE, DOES THE CO-OP BUY IT BACK?
If your subscription produces more energy than your home consumes in one month, the extra solar energy goes into a “bank” on your account that will be used in the next month or months.
HOW DO SOLAR TAX CREDITS WORK?
Applicable tax credits are figured into the Community Solar program pricing.
WHAT IF THERE IS STORM DAMAGE TO THE COMMUNITY SOLAR FARM?
If the Community Solar arrays are damaged during a storm, you will receive a proportionate share of the energy produced by any non-damaged panels while repairs are made.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MOVE?
If you move to another home served by the co-op, the solar energy subscription moves with you. If you move out of the co-op’s service area, the subscription can remain at the current location or be re-marketed by the co-op. However, the upfront charge paid when beginning the program is not refundable.