The first 60 solar panels were installed on December twenty first of two thousand eleven and are now operational. Construction began on the Berea Solar Farm on December 01, 2011.
Berea Municipal Utility (BMU), with support from the City and an EECBG grant, is establishing the Berea Solar Farm – arrays of photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate electricity. The purpose of the Solar Farm is to provide BMU customers who want to invest in local solar generation an opportunity to do so. The program invites community members to come together in moving Berea toward a better energy future.
Customers will be invited to lease up to two 235-watt solar panels from an initial array of 60 panels. The one-time lease fee of $750 per panel covers a 25-year period. In return, customers will receive credit every billing period for the electricity generated by their panels. In this way participating customers gain access to solar generation at an excellent price ($3.19 per watt). The limit of two panels is intended to encourage broader participation in this first 60-panel array.
The hope is that customer interest will lead to additional 60-panel arrays as time goes on. For any arrays after the first, the two-panel limit will be lifted. That opens the way for participants – whether residents, small businesses, churches, or schools – to plan a gradual increase in their panel holdings and a consequent increase in the portion of their total electricity use offset by their panels’ generation.
Any future growth in the Berea Solar Farm will be funded by customer participation. Customers who choose not to participate will not be asked to subsidize those who do.