In August 2016, Boone Electric Cooperative joined more than 100 electric co-ops nationwide with the completion of our new community solar array. The 100-kilowatt solar farm, made up of 400 320-watt panels, is now fully energized and is expected to generate an average of 41 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per panel each month (based on annual anticipated output).
"This proudly demonstrates our progressive commitment toward our industry’s future," says BEC General Manager and CEO Todd Culley, "while keeping an ever-watchful eye on what our members value most - affordable, reliable power."
Shelter Insurance® was a key component to the successful construction and installation of the solar farm. As the co-op's tax equity investor, Shelter Insurance made a significant financial investment and is our partner in the project. "In finding a local partner to share in the costs of our new solar facility, we are able to offer the electricity it creates at a reasonable cost," says Culley. "In fact, for less than a fancy cup of coffee."
The cost of a kWh from the solar farm is 15.95¢. This cost covers construction and maintenance of the hardware necessary to capture the sun’s free photons. The output per panel is expected to average 41 kWh per month with a potential of 52 kWh in summer and 24 kWh during winter. With the average output, the premium added to a Community Solar member's bill would be $2.65 per panel per month. For winter and summer outputs, the premium will range from $1.54 to $3.35 per panel per month. So, if your bill was $100 prior to joing the Renewable Choice Program, with one panel added to your bill, you'd pay on average $102.65 a month.
BEC members who participate as a Community Solar subscriber will have no contract, commitment or upfront costs. BEC's Community Solar program is perfect for members unable to install solar at their residence and is available for basically the same cost. Subscribers are also able to cancel at any time with no penalty or additional fees.