LaGrange County REMC’s new Co-op Solar program makes it easier and more affordable than ever to invest in solar energy. Unlike individual rooftop solar systems, Co-op Solar is a “community solar” system — a large system that gives many co-op members the opportunity to get the benefits of solar energy.
Instead of a large upfront investment followed by the cost of maintaining solar panels at your location, you can purchase the output of solar arrays that are spread across three states — Peru, Wanatah and Danville, Indiana, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, and Paris, Illinois. If the sun isn’t shining over one array, it may be at another.
LaGrange County REMC is offering the program to members in 5-, 10- or 15-year terms. Participating members will pay upfront for the number of shares of solar energy they wish to purchase, from one share, up to the number of shares to equal 100 percent of their normal average use. The cost per share varies based on the number of years members wish to participate. Members may prepay for a five-year term for $147.16 per share, 10 years for $275.44 per share, and 15 years for $387.26 per share.
If you were to invest in a 24-panel solar array at your location that would produce about 780 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a month, you’d be looking at an investment of about $18,000. For about the same output of energy, you could invest in our Co-op Solar program for the next 15 years for about $6,970.
Once you’ve prepaid for the shares of solar energy, you will receive a credit back on your monthly electric bill for the actual number of kWh produced by the number of share(s) of solar energy you purchased. The credit will be at the wholesale rate of $.052538 per kWh for 2018. This number will change annually as power costs fluctuate.
Based on historical solar production, we estimate the solar output for each share will average 43 kWh per month. Solar output fluctuates depending on the number of hours the sun shines and time of year.
For access to real-time data on solar production at the sites and other information about Co-op Solar, visit powermoves.com/your-home/co-op-solar, or contact LaGrange County REMC Energy Advisor Jake Taylor at 877-463-7165. He will be happy to answer your questions and help you get started in the program.