For REMC’s: “How Much Will Solar Power Cost You?” Your thoughts on this analysis?

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 21, 2015  /   Posted in solar, Uncategorized  /   No Comments

How Much Will Solar Power Cost You?

By Victoria A. Rocha | ECT Staff WriterPublished: July 20th, 2015

Are you thinking about building a solar energy system at your electric cooperative?

A screening tool developed by NRECA and the Department of Energy can give you an estimate of much a solar project will cost your co-op. (Photo By: Joshua McGhee)

Check out a convenient tool now available from NRECA that helps estimate the costs of constructing, financing and operating utility-scale solar projects.

Developed as part of the Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) project, the Cost and Financing Screening Tool can be found on NRECA’s website and is available to all cooperatives.

The tool takes into account more than 80 variables to estimate the cost of producing electricity from photovoltaic cells. Variables include array and inverter costs, labor rates and historical meteorological data collected by the federal government.

“It’s intended to let you go in and kick the tires and play around with elements like system size or expected life to generally see if solar makes sense for your co-op,” said tool developer Paul Carroll, technical liaison and consultant to NRECA.

To get an estimate, users must supply the prospective site’s ZIP code and array size. After that, you can type in other information—such as details on local labor rates, state incentives for solar programs or construction costs—to refine the estimate.

“The model is powerful, yet flexible, and can be easily modified to suit your needs,” said Carroll.

To access the tool, users need the Google Chrome browser or they can download a spreadsheet version on NRECA’s website. There’s also an online tutorial.

For questions and more information, contact Andrew Cotter at, or Paul Carroll at

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