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Community Solar

 

Solar panels inside the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative Community Solar Garden in Hatteras North Carolina under blue skies and surrounded by green trees and grass.  A blue sign with a yellow sun stands in front of a fence around the project.

 

We invite you to participate in our 50kW Community Solar Garden, located at milepost 71 in Hatteras Village, NC. This project is open to all Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative members!

To view real-time production at the garden, visit our Sunny Portal.

Why community solar?

CHEC values clean, renewable energy and as your electric cooperative, we constantly look for ways to take a balanced approach towards energy production and generation. Solar energy is one of the cleanest and most affordable renewable energy sources available. By grouping solar panels together, costs can be shared and power output can be maximized.

Our community solar project is an attractive option for members who are interested in solar but do not want to make a significant financial investment or do not have south-facing roofs. It is the perfect solution for members who rent their homes, or do not want to penetrate their roof in our unique coastal environment.

By partnering with the North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, the National Renewable Cooperative Organization, and Hannah Solar, CHEC was able to bring Community Solar to Hatteras Island. 

The Community Solar Garden required no upfront costs to the cooperative, and helps CHEC comply with North Carolina's renewable energy portfolio standard. 

How can you participate?

CHEC members are able to purchase the energy rights to a panel for $616.50. In exchange for participating, the member will receive a credit on their monthly electricity bill for the average amount of energy produced by a panel. The annual average output of each panel is estimated to produce 475 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. 

The bill credit for 2017 will be estimated at $2.67/month and will be recalculated and trued-up each year based on actual production.

The first step to purchasing your energy rights is to fill out the Community Solar Member Agreement.

a row of solar panels from the CHEC Community solar garden 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many panels does the garden have?

There are 180 panels.

 

What is the life expectancy of each panel?

The project has a lifetime of 20 years.

 

Is there a limit on how many panels a  member can purchase?

Yes. There is a 10 panel limit per member.

 

Why should I invest in solar power?

A community solar garden gives all members an opportunity to benefit from this clean energy source because it’s built and maintained at a central location by experts in the field. This eliminates common barriers that prevent members from installing panels on their property.

 

Does CHEC offer financing for the purchase of a panel?

Yes. We offer 1 year, on-bill financing of panel energy rights for 5% interest to qualifying members. 

 

Are there any tax credits that I can get for purchasing energy rights to a panel?

No. The tax credits will be utilized by the project’s owner or tax equity investor. These tax credits reduced the overall cost of the project and are therefore reflected in the panel energy right’s cost.

 

What happens if the panels are destroyed?

The project is fully insured by Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange, which also happens to be a cooperative. 

 

What happens if I decide to no longer participate in the community solar garden?

If a member decides to no longer participate in the community solar garden, or is no longer served by CHEC, the cooperative will purchase the energy rights back from the member at a reduced amortized rate. 

 

Who is responsible for maintaining the solar garden and all of the equipment?

Hannah Solar is responsible for all maintenance and repairs of the community solar garden and all of the equipment pertaining to the project.

 

For information, or to purchase energy rights, please call us at (252)995-5616.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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