Frequently asked questions
about Community Solar
Choose any link to get answers to your questions about Community Solar.
How Community Solar works
- Who is eligible to buy Community Solar power?
- How does SRP determine my portion of the energy produced?
- If I participate in Community Solar, will my business receive solar power from Copper Crossing?
- Why can't I buy more than 35% of my peak demand from Community Solar?
- After enrolling in Community Solar, can I add more kW shares later?
- What SRP price plan is recommended to supplement the Community Solar plan?
- How long am I committed to buy Community Solar kW shares?
- What happens after ten years?
- Can I cancel if I change my mind?
Solar energy production
- How much energy is produced - and why does it vary each month?
- What if my solar shares produce more energy than I use in a month?
- Why does solar energy cost more when sunshine is free?
- Which resources are used for manufacturing solar panels - and what's the expected life of the technology?
How Community Solar works
Who is eligible to buy Community Solar power?
Community Solar is a great solution for any business who wants solar power without installing and maintaining rooftop panels - including buildings or rental properties not suitable for rooftop solar. All commercial customer accounts are eligible for Community Solar as long as they haven't received a renewable energy incentive on the account and meet the minimum usage requirements of 1 kW per account.
How does SRP determine my portion of the energy produced?
SRP's monthly production from Copper Crossing Solar Ranch will be equally divided into 1 kW shares. Participation requires a minimum of 1 kW share and a maximum equal to 35% of your peak demand in the last 16 months. Community Solar customers will receive a monthly report with their bill summarizing the amount of energy attributed to their number of 1 kW shares.
If I participate in Community Solar, will my business receive solar power from Copper Crossing?
The energy produced at Copper Crossing goes into the "grid" along with energy produced at other plants. There is no way to directly track who receives energy from a specific plant. However, the portion of energy produced by your allotment will be applied to your monthly bill just as if you had solar panels on your rooftop.
Why can't I buy more than 35% of my peak demand from Community Solar?
We cap this program at 35% of your peak demand which is determined by reference to the highest KW usage reading in current billing period or the preceding 15 billing periods. This helps balance solar production with your monthly usage throughout the year. Both solar production and your energy needs fluctuate in the winter and summer months. It also allows more customers to participate in this new program.
After enrolling in Community Solar, can I add more kW shares later?
Customers may add or drop their amount of solar once every 12 bill cycles. Adding shares depends on availability, current pricing and not exceeding 35% of peak demand of an account's annual energy use.
What SRP price plan is recommended to supplement the Community Solar plan?
Business customers' energy use varies based on many factors including your business hours and type of operation. We recommend that you consult with an SRP representative if you have questions about the right price plan for you.
How long am I committed to buy Community Solar kW shares?
You can commit for up to ten years and be guaranteed that the price of energy from Copper Crossing Solar Ranch will not increase above the price at the time of your enrollment. If SRP's electricity prices go up in the next ten years, the amount you pay for solar production will not change. You also have the flexibility to cancel at any time without penalty after the initial term of 3 years.
What happens after ten years?
SRP Community Solar is a pilot program. At the end of ten years, SRP's Board of Directors will evaluate the success of this program and determine future direction.
Can I cancel if I change my mind?
You can cancel at any time. If you cancel before your 36th month, you will not be able to enroll this account in any other SRP renewable energy program until the tenth anniversary of your initial signup.
Solar energy production
What if my solar allotment produces more energy than I use in a month?
It's unlikely this would occur. However, if your solar allotment did produce more energy than you used in one month and you purchased 100 or less kW shares in the program, then the excess generation would be carried over to the next month's bill under the Renewable Net Metering Rider just as if you owned a rooftop system. If you purchase more than 100 kW shares, excess generation would be credited in the hour in which it was generated under the Buyback Service Rider.
Why does solar energy cost more when sunshine is free?
The technology needed to convert sunlight into electricity is more expensive than traditional generation. Community Solar is a cost-effective solution for customers who want clean energy but know that a rooftop system isn't an option for them.
Which resources are used for manufacturing solar panels - and what's the expected life of the technology?
Answers to these questions vary based on the specific technology. Manufacturers determine the types of materials and energy requirements for solar panels. Here are some links to resources that provide more detailed information:
- Brookhaven National Laboratory: National Photovoltaic (PV) Environmental Research Center
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, DOE: PV FAQs (PDF)
- DOE, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: