Cooperative members are increasingly expressing an interest in alternative energy. In our area, this most frequently means harnessing the power of the sun as a supplemental energy source.
Common reasons for considering the addition of solar power systems can include concern for the environment, energy independence, reducing the use of fossil fuels, and simply an interest in the technology.
We encourage members to do thorough research when installing solar panels, or any other type of alternative energy. A cost-benefit analysis is important to understanding the full cost of ownership and the financial benefits of owning a solar power system.
As you collect information about your solar options here are some considerations:
A tool is available through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that estimates the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. The tool, PVWatts®, is a free application that allows consumers to easily develop estimates of the performance of potential PV installations. NREL is a third-party research laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and is not associated with Central Electric Co-op. Click on the image below to access the calculator.
Members installing alternative energy systems that will be connected to the grid are required to complete agreements with CEC and our power supplier, Allegheny Electric Cooperative. In addition, CEC will inspect the installation and verify that it meets all safety requirements. CEC requires that your system never powers back onto co-op lines when there is a power outage.
CEC will install a new meter, capable of net metering. The meter will measure current flow in both directions and will allow for accurate metering of the electricity that is consumed and produced.
CEC does not offer financial assistance and does not install any equipment other than a meter.
Contact us for assistance at 800-521-0570 x2134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.