The base price for the 5kW solar PV system the cooperative offers is $15,000. There could be additional charges depending on the location of array but those are determined during the site visit before the member agrees to any purchase. Full payment for the system is required before Medina EC will order materials or start construction.
Medina EC does not offer rebates. Members can take advantage of federal tax credits while they are available. You can find more information on those credits at www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits/solar_energy_systems.
Yes, Medina EC will purchase all kWh generated by the member in excess of the kWh consumed at an avoided cost rate. Medina EC does not allowing banking, or storing, of kWh; this means kWh is purchased at the time it is generated and cannot be used to offset use later in the same day or billing period. If a member generates more electricity than they consume, they are credited for each kWh pushed back onto the grid at the avoided cost rate.
The avoided cost is the cost Medina EC would have incurred had it been required to purchase the energy from a wholesale power supplier. The avoided cost is calculated by dividing the prior 12 months’ total wholesale power purchase cost (excluding demand costs, transmission and distribution costs, and Electric Reliability Council of Texas related fees) by the 12 months’ total kWhs purchased.
You can view current and historic avoided cost rates at MedinaEC.org/AvoidedCost.
The ROI can vary significantly between locations, but generally you can assume a payback of 12 to 14 years.
Installing solar or any other DG system is an individual decision. Medina EC’s role is to help educate the member in this process, regardless of who they have install the DG system. The member has the responsibility of determining whether the facility will generate enough electricity to offset the cost of equipment and installation. Medina EC will try to help you obtain information you deem relevant to your decision-making process, even if you are shopping with another installer.
At this time, only Medina EC members can purchase the solar PV system sold by Medina EC.
This depends on the time of year and hours of sunlight. A good rule of thumb is that for every kW in size, the system should produce about 125 kWh per month. Using those figures, a 5 kW system should produce approximately 625 kWh per month, which is about $62.50 in savings if you are producing the energy at the same time you are using it. Keep in mind that the savings could be lower if a majority of the kWh you are producing is pushed back to the grid and purchased at an avoided cost rate.
Medina EC will only be constructing ground-mount installations. No rooftop solar will be installed.
Medina EC will be contracting the construction of the ground-mount out to an approved contractor. Medina EC’s licensed staff electrician will perform the final inspection and will connect the system to the home/business and grid.
Solar panels are rated to withstand a 1” hailstone falling at terminal velocity and winds up to 125mph, but storm damage is possible and should be considered in your decision making. There is a 10-year workmanship warranty available with installation of a Medina EC system. There will be manufacturers’ warranties on the individual parts of the system, and that information will be provided to the member at the time of sale.
It is recommended to insure solar PV systems against acts of nature and accidents. The cooperative recommends talking to your insurance agent about the coverage your policy offers for a ground-mounted solar PV system and any increased costs to your policy for that coverage before purchasing the system. Medina EC does require the owner of any DG system on our lines, including the solar PV system sold by the cooperative, to show proof of insurance (view the Distributed Generation section of the Tariff for details).
No. The anti-islanding feature found in today’s inverters will not allow the inverter to operate unless the presence of the grid is detected. This is for the safety of the linemen working on our system. DG systems, like a solar PV system, can put energy back on the grid which creates life-threatening danger for crews working on restoring power.
We want to be your trusted energy provider and expert. We know our membership is receiving calls from other solar salesmen. If we can provide our members with a similar product that is more affordable, we think it is our duty as your not-for-profit electric cooperative to offer that option. We also want to ensure that other companies are not selling you more panels than needed or telling members that Medina EC will buy back the excess capacity at retail rates. Whoever you decide to purchase a solar PV system from, know that you will get honest numbers and information from Medina EC staff to help you make the right decision for your home or business.
ROI – Return on Investment - tries to directly measure the amount of return on a particular investment, relative to the investment's cost.
PV – Photovoltaic – a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons by the photovoltaic effect
kW – Kilowatt – a unit of electric power. One kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts (W).
DG – Distributed Generation – the generation of electric power from a small energy source close to the end user of power.
kWh – Kilowatt Hour – unit of energy, commonly used for billing from electric utilities. If energy is used at a constant rate over a period of time, the total energy in kWh is equal to the power in kW multiplied by the time in hours.