What is OurSolar?
OurSolar is a community solar program that offers one of the cleanest and most affordable renewable energy sources available. By grouping solar panels together, costs can be shared, power output can be maximized, and hassles of rooftop installation can be avoided. OurSolar is provided by Buckeye Power on behalf of Pioneer Electric Cooperative and its members.
What is the cost to participate?
The cost is just 2.4 cents more per kWh produced per panel. If you subscribe to two panels, for example, the additional cost on a monthly bill would average about $1.60.
Is there a limit to the number of panels I can subscribe to?
Yes. The limit is 10 panels.
Will any equipment be hooked up to my home?
No. The power generated by OurSolar is transported throughout the community by Pioneer.
If I subscribe to a panel of OurSolar, will I stop receiving my monthly bill?
No. You will continue to receive your monthly bill, but your bill will now show that a portion of your energy is produced by your solar panels and paid for at the OurSolar rate.
How will this help increase sustainability?
OurSolar is a local power source, which allows the Pioneer community to have more control over a portion of their power supply. Generating energy with solar power creates no pollution or carbon dioxide emissions, and is a clean, renewable, and sustainable alternative energy source.
How long is the term of the agreement?
The agreement is for five years. The OurSolar rate will be fixed during the agreement, but is subject to change after it ends. Agreements will be automatically renewed as long as the rate remains the same and members wish to continue in the program.
How does OurSolar compare to rooftop solar?
OurSolar gives all members an opportunity to benefit from this clean energy source because it’s built and maintained at a central location by experts in the field. This eliminates common barriers — such as trees, roof size and house location — that prevent people from installing solar panels on their property. Further, all ongoing costs are included in the subscription rate, so there is no need to worry about unexpected costs popping up in the future!
Can I take advantage of any tax credits or other incentives to bring down the cost of a panel?
OurSolar has sought out and taken advantage of all available credits, rebates, and incentives in order to make the program as affordable as possible. OurSolar will continue to manage these incentives on your behalf and these cost reductions are included in the subscription rate.
Is energy production guaranteed?
No. The energy produced by each panel is expected to be about 410 kilowatt hours per year (about 34 kWh a month), but may be more or less in any given year depending on weather conditions.
Can anyone sign up for Pioneer’s OurSolar program?
Only members of Pioneer Electric Cooperative may subscribe to panels.
What happens if I move?
If you move to another location within Pioneer’s service territory, your subscription can “move” with you! If you move out of the service territory, your subscription is returned to Pioneer at no cost.
What if I cancel the agreement early?
If the agreement is cancelled early due to moving or death, then the subscription returns to Pioneer at no cost. If the agreement is cancelled early due to a different reason, then the subscription may be returned to Pioneer by paying an administrative fee of $50 per panel.
Where is the solar array located?
The OurSolar array is located at Pioneer’s Urbana District Facility. The whole Buckeye Power project, at electric co-ops across Ohio, is expected to generate 2.1 MW of electricity.