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Community Solar


 

Lake Region Community Solar II

Now Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) members have another opportunity to purchase clean, renewable community solar energy. LREC is proud to announce it will build a second community solar project in the spring of 2015.


LREC’s Community Solar II array will consist of 60 panels with a combined capacity of 24.6 KW DC or 18 KW AC. The array is expected to produce approximately 700,000 kWh of renewable solar energy over the next 20 years. Each panel has a nameplate capacity of 410 watts and will produce an average of 584 kWh’s of electricity each year.
Members who purchase the output of a panel(s) will have the kWh production credited to their bill each month at current retail value. As rates increase over time, so does the value of the solar credits. Based on typical weather and U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab estimates, monthly production may range from approximately 25 kWh in December to 70 kWh in July and average about 49 kWh per month. Members may purchase solar energy in increments of as little as one-half to as many as 10 panels. The maximum output you can purchase is limited by your average annual usage or 10 panels, whichever is less. Any renewable energy credits (REC’s) associated with the solar output belong to the purchaser.

LREC is responsible for operating, maintaining, and insuring the solar array. Once a panel is purchased, you will not be subject to additional charges, not even for panel replacement or maintenance. LREC members choosing not to purchase a panel will not see any change in their electric rate or billing resulting from the project. In fact, our community solar project eliminates the cost shifting that occurs from privately owned and net-metered installations.

Benefits of the program include:

  • The monthly electric bill is reduced by the number of kWh’s the panel(s) produce and the bill credits are priced at the current LREC retail rate. As LREC rates rise, so do the solar bill credits. 
  • Replace fossil fuels used to generate electricity with your own solar energy.
  • Setting your price of electricity for a portion of your needs for the next 20 years. 
  • All renewable energy credits (REC’s) and the potential benefits associated with renewable solar energy belong to you.

 

Call (800) 552-7658 or sign up to receive more information about community solar on our Sign Up to be Notified page.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is this program intended for?

The program is voluntary and available to all LREC members interested in using renewable energy.  Community solar is an affordable, low-risk way for LREC members to enjoy the benefits of solar energy without the hassle of designing, permitting, installing, maintaining, and insuring their own PV solar array.

Will anything be installed at my home?

No, all equipment will be installed on LREC headquarter grounds.  LREC will be responsible for operating, maintaining, and insuring the array for the 20-year life of the program.

How much electricity will a panel generate?

Each panel is capable of producing up to 410 watts and will produce approximately 594 kWh annually. This translates into $69 in solar credits the first year. In year 20, if LREC rates rise 2.5% annually, a single panel will provide approximately $106 in solar credits.   

I am a senior citizen; will a solar panel benefit me? 

As regular retail rates increase, the value of your solar energy increases too.  The panel can be sold or left as a valuable legacy gift to children or others.

Will solar benefit me if I own a seasonal lake home?

Community solar works very well for seasonal homes.  Even though you may not be using your home (or electricity) during the winter months, your winter solar credits will carry forward to spring when you start using your lake home again.  In addition, solar production is greatest in the summer which can offset LREC’s higher summer rates.

What happens if I move?

If you move within the LREC territory, you can transfer your solar credits to your new address.  If you leave the LREC service area, you can transfer (sell) your ownership to another LREC member – even a non-profit organization.

How do I know how much energy the solar array and my panel(s) are producing each month? 

Solar widgets for each of our solar projects are located on LREC’s website: www.lrec.coop. The graphics display current (real time) production, kWh produced today, month to date, and year to date for each of our projects.

What happens at the end of the 20-year agreement?

The community solar purchase agreement terminates after 20 years.  However, LREC will monitor and evaluate advances in solar technology to determine whether extension of the agreement may be practicable at that time.

What People are Saying

“We have a seasonal lake home and like that the kWh credits that our panel produces in the winter will be carried forward so that we can use them during the summer.”


“In a few years I plan to sell my home and I will give the panel to my son. By then, regular electric rates will be higher than the solar and it should be a valuable gift.”


“The community solar is a good idea. We need to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”


“I like that I can buy a single panel and just get my feet wet. Someday we might consider buying another.”


“We’ve been talking about putting in solar panels at our home but this seems to be an easier way to do it.”