PUT THE TEXAS SUN TO WORK FOR YOU WITH UNITED
United recently added 16 MW of solar energy to the United Community Solar portfolio, significantly increasing the amount of subscriptions and savings available for residential members.
Since May 2018, United’s residential members have been reaping the benefits of United’s Community Solar Program. Until recently, this program consisted of one 9.9 MW (AC) solar facility located just outside of Kopperl, in Bosque County. Within two years, close to 90 percent of the 4,950 subscriptions have been filled. Due to the success of United Community Solar, United has expanded this program for its residential members – increasing the total capacity from 9.9 MW to just shy of 26 MW.
This innovative energy option provides United members the opportunity to have a solar energy option at a cost-competitive price without the expense of installing a system at their home or the upkeep.
When members subscribe to United Community Solar, they are subscribing to a 2 kW portion of the overall 26 MWs. There are now 13,000 2-kW subscriptions available. With the additional subscriptions, many members now can subscribe to two 2-kW subscriptions, allowing them to sign up for 4 kW total, doubling their monthly savings!
To qualify for one 2-kW subscription, the member must be on United’s single-phase residential rate and average at least 500 kWh a month over a 12-month period. A member with an average monthly usage of at least 1,000 kWh a month can qualify for two 2-kW subscriptions (4 kW total).
There are no upfront costs to join, no contracts to sign, no insurance required and the potential savings begin the first month member’s sign up for the project. Members are asked to join for a minimum of 12 months, and that the solar subscription is tied to one account only. Once signed up, members must opt out of the program.
Call your local United office and ask to sign up for community solar today.
Frequently Asked Questions About United Community Solar
United currently purchases power from two solar facilities. One is located in Bosque County in the southern part of United’s territory, and the other is in West Texas in Andrews County.
There are 13,000 2-kW subscriptions available.
A member with an average monthly consumption of 500 kWh qualifies for one (2 kW) subscription. A member with an average monthly consumption of 1000 kWh qualifies for two (2 kW) subscriptions (4 kW total).
Each subscription is limited to 2 kW to maximize the total number of subscriptions offered to United members. Capping the total amount of subscriptions available per member to two subscriptions will allow more members to participate in the community solar program.
When you subscribe to United’s Community Solar program, you are subscribing to a 2 kW portion of the overall 26 MW, which equates to approximately .01 percent of the total 26 MW. Every month the subscriber will receive .01 percent of the total generation output of the facility
Solar facilities March generation 5,121,122 kWh
13,000 total subscriptions divide by 13,000
Monthly kWh Allocation = 394 kWh
In the example above, the March total generation is estimated to be 5,121,122 kWh. Each 2 kW subscription will receive .01 percent of the total monthly generation, or 394 kWh. If the member qualifies for 2 subscriptions, then the monthly kWh allocation would be doubled (788 kWh). The monthly allocation will vary month-to-month depending on the generation of the solar facilities.
The participating member is billed each month for the solar allocation (.01 percent of the 26 MW total monthly generation) by multiplying the member’s monthly solar allocation by the Solar Rate and the Solar PCRF, as shown in the bill example below. The remaining kWh consumption will be billed at the normal Brazos Electric Cooperative (BEC) rate and the BEC PCRF. The distribution rate will be applied to the kWh consumption.
One subscription (2 kW total) – Billing Example
Two subscriptions (4 kW total) – Billing Example
The solar PCRF includes all cost associated to the settlement and delivery of the energy generated from the solar facilities and any other ERCOT expenses.
No. The kWh allocation of the member’s subscription(s) is not a fixed monthly amount, but rather a percentage of the total production of the solar facilities each month, and will vary monthly depending on total generation of the solar facilities. The generation is intermittent and the production varies from day to day and depends on many factors, including weather and other acts of God, solar equipment failure, and sunlight factors based on time of the year. Due to the intermittent nature of solar, the Cooperative cannot guarantee the actual production kWh that subscribers will receive monthly.
No. United’s Community Solar program provides the membership an option to participate in a renewable program without having to come up with the funds or find financing options to help pay for the upfront capital cost of a solar system.
Currently, the program will allow up to two subscriptions for only one account. Even if the member has multiple accounts that meet the rate schedule and average consumption criteria, that member can only qualify for Community Solar on one account. The two subscriptions can not be split between two accounts.
No. There are no fees to apply or participate in United’s Community Solar program.
The community solar rate will vary month to month, depending on production and other energy market costs. Using today’s energy prices, certain months (certainly the summer months) will have the potential of being cheaper than the base rate.
The production will vary from month to month, depending on clouding days, the season, and other factors. We estimate that the monthly average kWh allocation will be approximately 442 kWh. In the summer months, the kWh allocation could potentially be as high as 615 kWh and in the winter months the production could potentially drop to 235 kWh. The variation of production is similar to what one could expect with a system that is installed at their residence. The big difference is that through United Community Solar program, the member gets the efficiency benefits of the system being a tracking system.
The green line on the charts below show the projected kWh allocation for a single subscription and for multiple (two) subscriptions. The blue line on the charts below compare the kWh production of equivalent capacity of a member owned roof mount system (2 kW, 4 kW), to United’s Community Solar subscription Capacity (2 kW single subscription and 4 kW which is two subscriptions). The orange line is a comparison of a roof-mounted system that is similar in production on annually as United’s subscription. This comparison is highlighting the fact that a single subscription (2 kW) of United’s Community Solar program is equivalent to a 3.5 kW roof mounted system from an annual production perspective.
Single subscription (2 kW)
Two subscriptions (4 kW total)
The figures above show the estimated monthly production of the single and double 2 kW subscriptions and estimated production of similar rooftop systems.
You could expect the monthly kWh allocation to be double of a single subscription (2kW). The chart above labeled as 4 kW, is the projected kWh allocation for two (2 kW) subscriptions from the one subscription above. On average, we estimate that the monthly average kWh allocation will be approximately 884 kWh. In the summer months, the kWh allocation could potentially be as high as 1,230 kWh. In the winter months, the production could potentially drop to 470 kWh.
Yes, you can participate in United’s Community Solar program as long as you are on United’s single-phase residential rate.
Yes. We are asking all members that participate in the community solar program to agree to 12 months, but the commitment is non-binding.
Currently, the maximum term is 15 years. Participating members could lock in a rate that is fixed for the next 15 years. The opportunity to fix the rate for a portion of the member’s monthly usage is another attractive aspect to United’s Community Solar program.
If the new location is served by United Cooperative Services, the location takes service under rate schedule 202.1, and the estimated average usage qualifies then the subscription(s) can be transferred to the new account. (Average of 500 kWh for transferring one 2 kW subscription and average of 1000 kWh for transferring two 2 kW subscriptions.)
Subscribers are auto-renewed for another 12-month period. If you would prefer to opt-out of the program, you would need to call United to do so.
We would prefer that you stay in the program for a full 12 months to receive the full benefits of the program. If you opt out before the 12-month commitment period, you will not be penalized. In the case you would like to opt back into the program United reserves the right to reject the request until the end of the original 12-month commitment period.
No, unfortunately net-metered accounts cannot participate in the community solar program.
Yes. New connects can qualify as long as it is a primary residence.
Yes, prePower accounts can qualify for United’s Community Solar program.
No. The solar equipment (panels, inverters, etc.) are located on sites maintained by third parties. This is another attractive aspect to United Community Solar. Participating members will not have to have the panels or other equipment installed on their premises. Plus, the third parties are responsible for the maintenance of the equipment.