Community Solar FAQs
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What is community solar?
Community solar is a simple, affordable way for members to participate in renewable energy. It allows many members to share the benefits of one local array located at TCEC’s headquarters. Interested members will subscribe to a panel, or more if they choose, and receive a credit on their bill for their share of the energy produced by that community array. Members do not have to install and maintain solar panels on their roof or property to participate.
Why is TCEC pursuing community solar?
TCEC is the first in the state of Oklahoma to launch a community solar project. TCEC’s members showed a strong interest in renewable energy in our recent survey. Nearly 70 percent of members were somewhat or extremely interested in renewables according to the 2015 member survey conducted by a third party for TCEC.
What is the timeline for construction?
The solar array went live in March 2016 with shares first offered to members in May 2016.
Where is the solar array located?
The solar array is located on about six acres just north and east of TCEC’s headquarters in Hooker.
How large is the solar array?
This is a one megawatt array. It has 3,840 panels that are 400 watts each.
How much does it cost for a subscription?
In 2018, subscriptions are $313. This is a one-time fee for a subscription valid through 2041.
Who can subscribe to the array?
Initially, subscriptions were limited to residential members only on a first-come, first-served basis. They are now also available to nonprofit organizations.
How much will my credit on my bill be?
Each month, your electric bill will be credited for the power produced in the previous month by the array based on the number of panels you own. The credit will vary from month-to-month. The credit averages about $2.60 per month or about $30 per year per panel. It may be more or it may be less, depending on a variety of factors. If a member purchases multiple subscriptions, the total credit is not intended to exceed the amount of the monthly bill.
What is the payback period?
We estimate the payback period for the purchase of a panel subscription is approximately ten years. Subscriptions are valid through 2041.
How many panel subscriptions can I buy?
Members can purchase a limited number of panel subscriptions, their credit should not exceed their energy consumption each month. We calculate the number of panels members are eligible to purchase based on 80 percent of the primary account's average annual energy use. Call TCEC at 580.652.2418 for the number of panels you are eligible to purchase.
How did TCEC come to a decision on the development of the solar array?
TCEC evaluated several vendors over the course of a year before making a decision that had the most benefit to all its members. We spoke to several developers and other utilities that have implemented community solar before making a decision to partner with Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) to build the array. TPI is a subsidiary of Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. TPI’s solar offering provides maximum energy density and requires approximately 40 percent less space than traditional systems. This model also does not create a subsidy between those that participate and those that don’t.
Who is responsible for storm damage, such as hail, and regular maintenance on the solar array?
As the developer of the project, Today’s Power, Inc. in partnership with TCEC will be responsible for the maintenance and insurance on the solar array.
What happens if I move?
If you move after purchasing a subscription, you have several options to sell or donate your subscription at a depreciated rate, as specified in the purchase agreement, including:
- Have your subscription applied to your new TCEC account
- Sell your subscription with your home or separately to someone else within TCEC's service territory
- Donate your subscription within TCEC's service territory
- Gift your subscription to a family member within TCEC's service territory
- Sell the subscription back to TCEC
Where can I learn more?
Call TCEC at 580.652.2418 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our Community Solar program.