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When all 1,472 panels of our initial community solar gardens were fully subscribed in a matter of months, we knew another community solar project was needed to meet our members’ growing desire for renewable energy.
A new community solar garden is now under construction. A total of 432 new panels will be available to members throughout our service area in late summer 2019. Interested in subscribing? Sign up now to be added to our "wait list" and secure your spot in the new garden today.
Community solar gardens offer Blue Ridge members easy access to solar energy without the upfront cost and ongoing maintenance of rooftop solar. The program allows members to subscribe to one or more panels and receive a bill credit for the energy they produce.
Call 828-572-6062 to speak with a trusted energy advisor.
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How much will it cost?
You can subscribe to the energy generated by a solar panel in the community solar garden for $3.75 per month. This new, lower rate is effective 9/2019 for all Community Solar subscribers.
Will the cost of the subscription ever change?
No, you are locking in the production from one solar panel for $3.75 as long as you stay subscribed. Blue Ridge will operate the community solar gardens for a minimum of 20 years and may extend that term as long as the equipment is functional and productive.
What does subscribing to a panel mean?
You are not purchasing a solar panel. Subscribing means you are making a monthly payment in exchange for the energy produced by the panel. You will receive a bill credit for your share of the energy generated. A subscription will require a one year commitment and automatically renews. After the first year, a member can end the subscription at any time without penalty.
How much energy will a panel generate monthly?
The amount of sunlight the panel receives will vary based upon the season and weather. A panel should produce an average of 36 kWh per month. To ensure that all participants get an equal bill credit, Blue Ridge will total the energy generated by all four community solar gardens then divide by the total number of panels. All participants will then receive an equal share as a variable monthly bill credit.
How many panels can I subscribe to?
There is a 10 panel limit per member to allow as many members as possible the opportunity to participate in community solar.
How many panels are available?
There are 368 panels in each of the four community solar gardens located in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties and all are subscribed at this time. The newest garden will offer 432 panels. We are pre-registering members now and subscription should begin in September 2019.
Why is Blue Ridge doing this?
Blue Ridge wants to make going solar simple and easy for our members. Only 22 percent of residential rooftops are suitable for solar due to shading and orientation issues and many renters have no option to install panels. Community solar has no upfront installation or ongoing maintenance costs for subscribers.
What to expect after signing up for the wait list?
As panels become available, our energy solutions team will call you to explain our community solar program options and review your account’s historical energy usage. The call typically takes about 15 minutes. You can then confirm if you would like to subscribe. We are available M-F from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to answer any questions. Please call 1-828-572-6062 to speak with Susan Greer or Jon Jacob about Community Solar.