By Victoria A. Rocha | ECT Staff WriterPublished: July 20th, 2015
Are you thinking about building a solar energy system at your electric cooperative?
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.
For questions and more information, contact Andrew Cotter at Andrew.Cotter@nreca.coop, or Paul Carroll at Paul.Carrollfirstname.lastname@example.org.