Solar FAQs

Solar FAQs

Do we allow member owned solar power systems to interconnect with Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative’s power grid?

We do allow member owned solar power systems to interconnect with Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative’s power grid through Net Billing.

Do we sell, install, or finance solar power systems, panels, and equipment?

We do sell solar power (PV) systems to Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative members only. Financing through Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative is currently not available. 

Do we offer rebates for solar power equipment or installation?

We do not offer any rebates for solar power equipment. The state and federal governments offer the majority of rebates for solar equipment in the form of tax credits. Please check with your tax professional to see if there are any government tax credits for which you might qualify.

Do we allow the setup and interconnection of solar farms to Blue Ridge Electric Cooperatives power grid in our assigned service territory?

Due to our wholesale power purchase agreement with Central Electric Cooperative, we do not allow the setup or interconnection of solar farms in our assigned service territory. Any inquiries about establishing solar farms, or large scale solar generation, should be directed to Central Electric Cooperative, contact person Gerry Fleming, 803-834-7956.

Do you recommend any solar system installers?

The only solar installer we currently endorse and recommend is TABLE ROCK TECHNOLOGIES, who install all solar power systems sold by Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative. If you choose to purchase and install a solar system through a third party, please use the information sources listed below to help you make the best informed decision for your solar needs. 

What is the process for applying for solar interconnect/Net Billing?

There are several important steps in the application process. Each step to successfully complete the process of connecting to Blue Ridge Electric’s Power Grid is carefully laid out in the Solar Step-by-Step Guide.

Where can I find the applications and forms for solar interconnect/Net Billing?

All forms and applications are available for download and printout on our website. Simply click on the link, https://www.blueridge.coop/solar and follow the instructions.

Does installing a solar power system mean I will never have a power bill again?

Installing a solar power system does not eliminate your power bill. As long as you are interconnected to Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative’s power grid, through either Net Metering or Net Billing, you will still be charged, at minimum, a monthly basic facilities charge. There will also be periods where you consume more electricity than you generate, and you will be billed for the kilowatt hours you consume during those periods. Any applicable demand charges will still apply as well.

Beyond the basic facilities charge, the charge for any kwh’s used from Blue Ridge’s power grid, and any applicable demand charges, the type of solar interconnect program you are participating in will determine the remainder of the fees you may incur.

Net Metering Solar Interconnection Members who began service under our Net Metering interconnection rider incur a monthly $5.00 per kw Distribution charge per installed capacity. Our power provider, Central Electric Cooperative, currently credits our Net Metering solar interconnect accounts to offset this charge, but this credit is scheduled to expire for customers on the closed Net Metering Rider in 2025. At that time, the member would become responsible for paying this charge. The Net Metering Rider is scheduled to expire in 2025, at which point all members who participate in Net Metering Solar Interconnection will be converted to our current Net Billing Solar Interconnection Rider. 

Net Billing Solar Interconnection Members who interconnected after July 31, 2018 did so under our current Net Billing Rider. Under the Net Billing Rider there is not a monthly $5.00 per kw Distribution charge per installed capacity.

How does Net Billing/solar interconnection work?

Net Billing is the current solar interconnect method by which we make power available to the member from Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, while allowing them to put excess generation onto our power grid. The meters we use for this are bi-directional, but power can only flow through them in one direction at a time. If the members solar installation generates more power than is currently being consumed by the member, then any “excess generation” flows through the meter to the power grid. Each month your excess generation kWh’s will be credited to your account at the rate of .051 cents per kWh’s. If this credit is more than the amount of your monthly billing statement any excess credit will be banked on your account to apply against the next billing period.

Help me understand my Net Billing/Net Metering billing statement.

Interactive examples of billing statements are available on our website. There are multiple information “hotspots” that will answer the most common questions members have about their billing. Please be aware that net metering is a closed rate as of July 31, 2018. If you signed up for solar interconnection after July 31, 2018 you automatically began service under the Net Billing rate structure. 

What is the maximum size (KW) for residential and commercial locations?

In addition, how is the allowable size of the solar power system I am allowed to interconnect with Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative determined? Currently the largest interconnected solar power system that we allow to be installed at a residential location is 20KW. The largest interconnected solar power system that we allow to be installed at a commercial location is 100KW. Approved system sizes are determined by your estimated maximum kilowatt demand of 20KW for residential or 100 KW for a non-residential service.

Do I need to meet with a Blue Ridge employee before allowing a solar installer to begin installing a solar system at my location?

You must meet with a Blue Ridge Employee to receive approval on the size of the solar system you propose to install at your location. This meeting will also include reviewing the details of the Net Billing rider, a review of how billing for solar interconnect accounts works, and an explanation of all the solar energy options available to you through Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative. Please refer to the Solar Step-by-Step Guide for further information.

Can I participate in both the Community Solar and Solar Interconnect programs at the same time?

Members can participate in either one of the programs, but not at the same time.

Will Blue Ridge ever make an onsite inspection of my solar interconnection after it is approved and installed?

Blue Ridge has the right to conduct a maintenance inspection at any time to make sure the approved solar interconnection is operating within standards established by the Net rider. Currently the inspections occur annually, but that may change without notification.