Solar

Learn more about solar generation, the renewable programs that are available, and if solar power is right for you.

 

Did you know: The average price to install a solar array is between $2.50 and $3.50 per Watt?

 

Disclaimer: Volunteer Energy has a 100% Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Because of this agreement, TVA will not allow VEC to purchase power generated from any other source besides TVA. This includes solar power being generated by our own members. Consequently, VEC can only offer TVA sponsored solar programs to our membership.

Currently, TVA offers four renewable options: Dispersed Power Production (DPP), Green Switch, Green Flex, and Green Connect.

Dispersed Power Production

https://www.tva.com/energy/valley-renewable-energy/dispersed-power-production-program

Dispersed Power Production is a program that TVA uses to buy excess power generated by residential and/or commercial solar arrays. The program pays a variable rate for the energy sold, usually around 1.8 cents per kWh. Any VEC member wishing to participate in DPP will be required to sign a contract with TVA for the sale of the excess generation.

VEC members enrolling in DPP will need to identify and hire a solar installer, who will be responsible for the construction of the solar array. Please be aware, neither TVA nor VEC offer installation services at this time. After contracting an installer, the member will then need to fill out and return to VEC a copy of the VEC Interconnection Application and the VEC Interconnection Agreement.

Interconnection Application

Interconnection Agreement

These documents require a verifiable signature to be processed. Verifiable signatures include wet signatures and digitally signed signatures. No type-written signatures will be accepted.

Along with the Interconnection Application, the participating member will need to submit a $250 non-refundable application fee. This fee will cover the cost of a technical review by a VEC engineer. Along with the Interconnection Agreement, the member will need to submit a $500 interconnection fee. This fee will cover the cost of upgrading the member’s metering equipment, and for the interconnection of the solar array to the VEC distribution grid. This fee will be refundable until the day interconnection is completed. If the meter has been upgraded, the fee will no longer be refundable.

Interconnection documentation can be dropped off at your local service center, or mailed to Volunteer Energy Cooperative, CO MED Department, PO Box 277, Decatur, TN 37322. If so desired, the fees can be paid together in a single $750 payment. Payments can be made by cash, check, or credit card at your local service center, by check through the mail, or by credit card over the phone.

Please be aware, before a solar array can be interconnected to the VEC electric grid, whether participating in DPP or not, an approved electrical inspection report must be submitted to the cooperative.

Please Note:

If you plan to install a battery backup system with your solar array, you should consider installing the array on the load side of your VEC electric meter, and forgo participation in the Dispersed Power Production program. Since DPP only pays for the excess generation sold to TVA, the inclusion of batteries will minimize, or even eliminate altogether, the amount of energy being sold. Enrollment in DPP requires $750 worth of interconnection fees. An installation without batteries could potentially require up to 7 years to recuperate the cost of the interconnection fees. An installation with batteries is unlikely to ever recuperate the fees.

Additionally, if you only plan to install a small array (5kW or less), you may be better off to forgo participation in DPP, and instead use the $750 worth of fees to install a small battery backup. Any kilowatt-hour stored can be used during non-daylight hours, offsetting the need to buy energy from the distribution grid at 10.5 cents per kWh, which is worth approximately 6X the value of the TVA credit.

If you have any additional questions about DPP, please contact us at david.fiber@vec.org

 

Green Switch

https://www.tva.com/energy/valley-renewable-energy/green-switch

This TVA program allows VEC members to purchase renewable energy blocks for use in their home or business. For as little at $2 per month, 200kWh of the energy you use will come from a renewable resource. The advantages of this program is that there is no long term commitment, there is no need for any infrastructure to be built on your property, there is no upfront cost, and the minimal cost to participate is only $2.

 

Green Flex

https://www.tva.com/energy/valley-renewable-energy/green-switch/green-flex

This TVA program allows businesses and industrial customers to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs). Customers may purchase RECs at $1.50 MWh. 100% of the RECs come from out-of-Valley wind generation.

 

Green Connect

How Do I Choose A Qualified Solar Installer?

This TVA program provides VEC members a way to connect with reputable solar installers. The program will help ensure your solar installation is safe, reliable, and properly sized for your home.