Community Solar

Community Solar

South Central Electric Association Community Solar

Members interested in green energy or looking to lock in future electricity prices can participate in South Central Electric's Community Solar project. SCE developed the community solar project to give members that wanted a portion of their energy to come from a renewable source options they could participate in.  All the electricity created by the SCE community solar array is used my SCE members.

South Central Electric Community Solar Brochure click here.

What is Community Solar? A South Central Electric Community Solar project allows members to purchase a portion of the electric generation from a solar array located next to our Northstar substation at the POET Biofuel plant near Lake Crystal. Members have two participation plans to choose from. Participants do not own any of the panels or infrastructure.

What are the benefits?

  1. Nothing is installed on your home or property. You have nothing to maintain.
  2. Renewable energy is generated at your member owned electric cooperative.
  3. You can control the cost of future electricity purchases.
  4. Two Convenient Options.
  5. Participate with as little as one panel, with a limit of 10 panels per member.

How does it work? Members get either a kWh credit on their monthly bill or pay $.13/kWh based on their portion of the total system production. What you get depends on which option you select. Members do not own panels. Limit 10 panels per member.

How are kWh's assigned to participants? The solar array consists of 448 panels. Each month the total production South Central Electric receives from the array is divided by 448 to determine how many kWh's each panel is allocated. For example: March of 2016 total array production was 18,816.  The kWh allocation would have been 42kWh's per panel. The estimated production per panel is around 500kWh's a year. Monthly production will vary by season, with the summer months creating the most electricity and winter months delivering the least.

Renewable Energy Credits (REC's): This project is registered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS). Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a South Central Electric power supplier, is the owner of all REC's. Participating members do not receive renewable energy credits.

Participation Option A: Purchase per panel
Members pay $1,175 per panel (members do not own the panels). Members sign a license agreement. Participating members get a percentage of the total solar array production each month based on how many panel units they purchased. A kWh credit would appear each month on their bill until October 31, 2037. It is estimated that each panel will produce approximately 500 kWh’s per year. Members can transfer their contract to any South Central Electric member if they move before October 31, 2037.

Participation Option B: Purchase per kWh
Members pay $.13/kWh each month for their portion of the array’s production.  There is no down payment or contract.  The price does not change.  Members would be locking in a portion of their electric purchases at a price of $.13/kWh until the program ends on December 31, 2037. Members can leave the program at any time but cannot transfer the rate to other members.

Participation Plans information sheet click here.

How participation affects your monthly bill information sheet click here.

Panel Participation Member Contract click here.

kWh Participation Member Form click here.

What is the breakeven or return? This is not an income producing investment. Members do not own the panels. Any financial benefit will depend on future costs of electricity. You will be purchasing energy from the South Central Electric Community solar array at $1175/panel or $.13/kWh.  The value you get per kWh will be based on the SCEA monthly kWh price now and in the future.  Limit 10 panels per member.


South Central Electric Community SolarSouth Central Electric's Community Solar - Northstar Array

South Central Electric’s Community Solar Array is located next to our Northstar substation at the POET Lake Crystal Ethanol plant. The array consists of 448 – 400watt panels with a total output of 134.4kW(AC)  The system was manufactured and designed by tenKsolar, a “Made in Minnesota” solar manufacturer.  Zinniel Electric of Sleepy Eye was the array installer.

The project was made possible with cooperation from:

            POET Biorefining - Lake Crystal
            Great River Energy
            Basin Electric Power Cooperative
            East River Electric Cooperative


Energy Production Estimates: Renewable energy production, such as solar, is dependent on the weather. All production estimates are just that estimates. There is no guarantee of outcome.  South Central Electric will maintain the solar array in a manner to maximize production through regular maintenance and replacement of parts.  South Central will not remove snow from the array.

South Central Electric Community Solar Array