Solar farms are becoming attractive options for citizens of the Orange Grove, Texas area. The fact that they enable people to use solar energy without installing solar panels on their roofs means that more South Texans are considering solar power.
Frank Wilson, Chef Retail Manager of NEC Co-op Energy says that the attraction of solar farms is that they allow citizens to own panels without installing them on their roofs.
“You’re looking at around 8-thousand 112 watt solar panels, that are owned and operated by Clean Energy Collective. That’s a very neat part of the program, you just need to be an NEC co-op energy member/owner/customer and then you contact Clean Energy Collective and say I’d like to buy a panel,” said Wilson.
It’s a bit like renting space at a community garden, but for solar power. The NEC Co-op Energy website touts roofless solar as being more cost-efficient than having a solar system installed on your home. It also allows those who do not have roof space, or whose roofs are not properly oriented for solar panels, the option to use solar energy. The website also notes that many consumers do not want to deal with the maintenance associated with a solar system and that coastal consumers face more challenges since Wind Storm Insurance policies can be negatively impacted by the addition of solar panels on a roof.
At the moment, one of the panels costs about 225 dollars, and upon purchase, a homeowner will instantly start saving on their electric bill. It’s still a new trend, so Wilson think the benefits of using a solar farm aren’t yet available for all to see, but in the meantime, the farm itself can now power around 700 homes.
“They let us know how much electricity you bought each month and then we credit your electric bill. You get about a dollar or dollar and a half a month credit, it varies each month you know if it’s a sunny summer month you’ll get a little more, if it’s a mild cloudy winter month, a little less,” says Wilson.
Wilson says the nine-acre large solar farm is bringing attention to the benefits of community-based solar power, decreasing electrical use at the same time.