The OurSolar community solar program for residential members makes renewable energy easy and affordable! To learn more about participating in OurSolar call 800-445-4840.
The array is fully functional and the energy output can be seen here.
This OurSolar program provides Members the opportunity to purchase a subscription to clean energy from the solar array located at the corner of U.S. 224 and Marion T.R. 215, east of Findlay.
Members can subscribe to the energy output of up to 10 panels for an average cost of $3 a month. Hancock-Wood will measure the green energy produced by each panel every month and calculate it into the Member’s bill.
OURSOLAR FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
OurSolar is not intended as a cost savings initiative but as an alternative to pricey rooftop solar. Cost-effective coal-fired fuel is a large percentage of our generation portfolio but we encourage the use of renewable energy sources as they become more practical and affordable. In time, solar may become more affordable (see How does OurSolar work). We already offer wind, solar, biomass and hydro as part of your power mix, but some Members requested more green energy – OurSolar fills that need. Want to save energy costs in other ways? Visit hwe.coop/save-energy
On a first-come, first-served basis, you can subscribe to the energy output of up to 10-3’x6’ panels at an average cost average of $3 per month. You sign up for a 5, 10 or 20-year agreement. You can stop subscribing before the contract is up for a fee, but there is no fee if you move or in the event of a Member’s passing. Future costs may rise for traditional energy sources but, for the contract duration, the rate will remain the same – a nice benefit. Hancock-Wood does not profit from OurSolar as an energy distribution co-op. Construction costs were covered through an initiative of Buckeye Power, Inc., our generation company – another great benefit!
Your monthly bill will provide the same information with an addition of an Our Solar charge - for the energy you are puchasing, and an OurSolar credit - for the amount of traditional energy sources you did not use.
Here is the best part - you have the power to choose.
You can choose how or if you wish to participate. If you are not interested – you don’t need to do anything. If you are, you have the opportunity to subscribe to OurSolar. Agreement details are not yet finalized, so there still is time to find out more – and to choose.
9.44 cents per kWh. That’s about 2.4 cents more than today’s average generation cost. There is no per-panel or fixed fee. Subscribers purchase energy output, not panels.
Not actively. They are fixed-tilt, arranged to balance energy production and snow shedding.
Cost is fixed for 5, 10, or 20 years, depending on the contract.
Approximately 7 cents per kWh.
This will depend on Member interest because Hancock-Wood and the OurSolar project is Member-driven.
No. Panels and equipment were purchased together as a single 2.1MW project to achieve the lowest possible price. A phase II would need to be planned and executed separately.
No. The entire site will be metered at a single point, and subscribers will be allocated their portion of the array’s output (i.e. 10 / 300); however, there are alarms built into each power optimizer. If a pair of panels fails to operate as well as the surrounding panels, maintenance crews will be alerted.
2.1MW total statewide; Hancock-Wood’s is 100KW.
In 2015, total energy = 364M kWh, so 120k ÷ 364M = 0.03%.
Not at this time.
Yes, but there is no requirement that Phase II be located at this same site.
Not from the state but a Federal 30% tax credit is included.
Absolutely. Aside from being lower in cost, not all rooftops can accommodate solar panels. OurSolar provides an off-site option with all the benefits and none of the hassle or maintenance.
No, OurSolar is not intended as a cost savings initiative but as an alternative to pricey rooftop solar; however, it will allow you to lock in a portion of your purchased power at a fixed rate. It is expected that wholesale rates will exceed the OurSolar rate sometime during the project’s lifetime and at that point you may realize a savings.
Net Metering is another co-op program that allows members to purchase, install and own their own solar or wind generation. OurSolar is a community solar program, which translates to lower costs and more opportunity for participation than rooftop solar. Hancock-Wood offers both.
That is difficult to project precisely but our average wholesale rate is expected to match the OurSolar rate within 16 years. This depends almost entirely on federal policy. The Clean Power Plan and other EPA rules have supported have the potential to raise wholesale energy costs for everyone, in effect, forcing the break-even with solar to occur sooner.
Community Solar is certainly not a fad. In comparison, if you were to factor in property taxes, insurance, maintenance, economy of scale and capital costs of rooftop solar, centralized solar arrays like OurSolar make more economic sense than multiple rooftop arrays.
Solar alone does not improve transmission reliability. Reduction in transmissions costs were factored in to OurSolar.
For the average residential Member subscribing to 10 panels, about 25%.
How do solar panels convert the sun's rays to generate useable power?
Most kinds of energy generation need some kind of burn, like coal or gas, to create steam, which turns turbine blades to create rotational energy to a rotor – and energy is generated.
Solar panels skip the burn process by allowing particles of light, called photons, to knock electrons off atoms, generating a flow of electricity. Each panel is made up of photovoltaic cells. Each cell is made up of two layers of semiconducting material, usually silicon at the top and a thicker boron layer at the bottom.
Phosphorus is added to the top layer which adds electrons, providng a negative charge. The bottom has fewer electrons, producing a positive charge. That establishes an electric field between the layers. The field pushes electrons out of the layers at a junction where they meet. The released electrons flow from the junction into conducting plates on the sides, which transfer them to wires where the energy can flow like any other source of electricity.
Solar panels can produce even on cloudy and rainy days and prices have become more affordable - allowing the co-op to offer the community solar service. Lack of efficient battery storage remains the barrier to cost effectiveness in comparison to coal. Solar is only 30 percent as cost effective as coal but remains a renewable energy source at the center of much research and development.