Introducing Co-op Solar: the easiest, most affordable way to invest in clean solar power from your local electric cooperative. With Co-op Solar, there are no expensive rooftop solar panels to buy, install, or maintain. We handle the solar power. You get the benefits.
See how it works for yourself, or read up on some of our most frequently asked questions. You can even take a live look at how much solar energy Co-op Solar is producing right this moment, and see how much you can start using when you sign up. Want to learn more? Connect with us online.
Solar energy travels 93 millions miles from the sun to the earth—and that’s just step one. Learn more about how Co-op Solar works.
Co-op Solar is a new solar power program from your local electric cooperative. Unlike individual rooftop solar systems, Co-op Solar is a “community solar” system—a larger system that allows many co-op members to get the benefits of solar power.
To be eligible, you must be a member of a participating local electric cooperative. These co-ops include:
There are many ways to take control of your energy consumption. And the first step should always be to reduce how much you’re using through energy efficiency improvements. But once you’ve made those upgrades, there’s still more you can do to support green energy and your community. Co-op Solar means you decide how much clean, affordable solar power you use each month. It’s one more way you can take charge of your energy bill.
Instead of connecting directly to solar panels, you’re connected through your regular electric lines to solar arrays across the Midwest that convert sunlight into electricity. You get the benefits of solar power—without any onsite equipment or maintenance.
Currently, our arrays are located in Peru, Wanatah, and Danville Indiana, as well as Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, and Paris, Illinois. You can see our arrays here.
As with any solar array, cloudy weather means reduced solar production. But with Co-op Solar, you get the benefit of solar panels spread across three states—and a little bad weather over one array doesn’t mean the sun’s not shining on another. Plus, you’re always connected to co-op lines.
Unlike other sources of energy, solar power is intermittent, and does not produce (or is reduced) during nighttime hours, cloudy weather, or when temperatures are too hot. These factors, along with the seasonal angle of the sun hitting the arrays, determine how much solar output is produced at a given time. Given these variables, we expect our solar arrays to produce energy about 20% of the time. During the remaining 80%, we rely on other generation resources and the full infrastructure of lines, poles, and the electrical grid to supply power to our homes and businesses.
When solar power is added to the power grid, that electricity becomes indistinguishable from energy produced by other sources. The electrons that enter your home may be produced by solar, wind, landfill gas, natural gas, or other sources of generation. But as more solar power is added to the grid, we can lessen our reliance on fossil fuels. And we ensure that Co-op Solar dollars directly support solar generation. Learn more about the journey of solar power from the sun to your home.
The arrays are actually owned by Wabash Valley Power Association, of which we are a member. Wabash Valley Power is a co-op, too, of 23 electric cooperatives across Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri that provides all of us with wholesale power.
By joining up with Wabash Valley Power and other electric co-ops, we’re able to leverage significant savings and increase our buying power. And since we’re a not-for-profit, we pass those cost-savings directly to our membership. It also makes it possible for more members to participate in a Co-op Solar program, since it’s offered at a lower cost.
Maybe you should. But rooftop solar’s not right for everyone. Many homes just aren’t in a good location for rooftop solar. Rooftop systems can be expensive upfront. And if you’re a renter, you’re out of luck.
Co-op Solar is for everyone. If you’re a member of your local electric cooperative, you can put the power of the sun to work for you.
P.S.: No matter whether you’re thinking about rooftop panels or Co-op Solar, an Energy Advisor from your co-op can help you better understand both options and choose what is right for you—and show you ways to save energy and money.
When you participate in Co-op Solar, you purchase a “share” of solar power. Each share you buy gives you access to solar power. Ask your co-op how much you can buy.
No. Unlike fossil fuels, the source of the energy is free. But, like every other fuel source, solar involves the cost of the solar panels to gather the energy and convert it into electricity—and all the costs of getting that power to you. Those costs will be figured into the total price you’ll pay for Co-op Solar power.
Our pricing plans are set to make sure that everyone can afford solar power. Each participating co-op has determined plans based on the needs of their members.
Now we’re in the nitty-gritty! Each share should produce within a range of about 100 – 500 kWh per year, depending on the weather. Talk to your local co-op to learn more about what that means for your home’s particular energy usage.
According to energy.gov:
Absolutely! Your local co-op will advise you on how many shares are available.
Not at all. There’s no equipment to purchase or maintain, and nothing to install. Since we own the solar arrays, we’re responsible for taking care of them.
Generating energy with solar power creates no pollution or CO2 emissions, which is great for the environment. Solar power is a clean, renewable, and sustainable source of energy. And as solar power is adopted by more and more people, those benefits will really show. When participate in Co-op Solar, you don’t just help preserve our environment the way it is—you help restore it to how it used to be.
Nope! The great thing about the Co-op Solar program is that you can get solar energy even if you’re renting.
If you move within the same service territory, your Co-op Solar shares will transfer with you to your new home or apartment. If you plan to move outside of the local electric utility’s service area, you’ll want to contact the local electric provider for more information on how this affects participation.
If your local electric cooperative is included on the list below, you’re eligible for Co-op Solar
Want to really go green? POWER MOVES can show you how to save energy—and money—through home energy assessments, tips and advice, and cash rebates for your efficiency projects.