- Considering Solar? -
We at Barry Electric Cooperative (BEC) are here to help you make the best decision when considering solar and meeting the needs of our members with green energy solutions.
Every large purchase requires thorough considerations and careful planning; buying and installing solar panels is no exception. To avoid overspending, it is especially crucial to do accurate calculations, and surround yourself with knowledgeable professionals. That’s where we come in and we’ve supplied the following steps to ensure that our members make the right choice when it comes to installing a form of power generation, like solar.
This is not always an easy answer. Read our Solar FAQs and other resources before making the decision on whether solar energy is right for you.
As your electric cooperative, we are your source for energy and information. If you would like to install and operate power generation on the BEC system, we recommend you review the following:
You can start the process by submitting the appropriate application, as well as ensuring the technology you choose meets requirements. It is likely you will have to get the vendor involved in submitting the application.
Upon receipt of the application and other required documentation, our staff will review the application for approval. If your application is denied, BEC will provide information as to the requirements for approval. Further interconnection studies may need to be executed depending on system size and requirements.
Once approved by BEC, the Interconnection Agreement shall be executed, and any costs due to BEC will need to be paid prior to implementation. Prior to physical interconnection, a BEC representative will inspect for proper operation and installation.
- Solar FAQs -
Solar energy systems work when sunlight hits a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel and causes electric current to flow. The produced direct current (DC) is then converted by an inverter to alternating current (AC), needed for use by household appliances. An electrical panel distributes energy throughout your house or business and any excess can be sold to our power suppliers through net metering.
That depends on a few factors: 1) The size of your system. Note that you can start out small and add on. 2) Your site. It’s recommended to have solar PV panels in an area shade-free from 9-3 p.m. 3) Your region. The more sunny days in your area, the more electricity you’ll be able to generate. You can find online calculators to help answer this question in more detail.
Your system will not collect sunlight at night and on cloudy days. Battery-backed systems use on-site storage to store excess energy to use during these times. However, this option will add significant cost and maintenance to your system. Most people opt for grid-connected systems for 24/7 energy access, reduced cost, maintenance, and high reliability – provided by BEC.
Most grid-connected solar PV systems shut down to prevent back-feeding electricity into power lines that may be damaged or in repair. This prevents injuries, and even death, to those working on the line.
Particularly on sunny days when your energy use can be low, your system may produce excess energy that can flow back to the grid and be sold through net metering. In accordance with Missouri State Statute, excess generation is purchased back from our members at the avoided cost, averaging $.02 per kWh.
The price of a solar PV system varies depending on size or generating capacity, quality, and complexity of the system. Installation costs depend on the system installed, as well as, home layout and construction. An average 4 kW system may cost between $11,000 and $15,000. The federal government has a 22% tax credit through 2022.
Certified solar PV systems generally are reliable, with a life expectancy of about 30 years. Most manufacturers offer 20 to 25-year warranties for panels. Other components like inverters may have a shorter life.
Before choosing a solar PV system, be sure that your home is in excellent shape; this may include energy efficiency updates or roof repairs. Investing in these will provide a faster return on investment and save you from unexpected future costs. Research solar PV systems and contractors before investing in a system. Get at least three quotes. Also, request advice and assistance from BEC. We have experience working with our solar members and vendors alike, and can provide information to aid in your decision-making.
- Annual Safety Inspection -