SCI REMC supports a mix of power generating resources that utilizes traditional means of power generation as well as renewable technologies such as solar power (or photovoltaic, PV) . View our comprehensive Solar Energy information packet for everything you need to know before installing solar panels.
SCI REMC began offering solar interconnectivity in 2007. Interconnectivity allows PV systems to generate power and draw power from SCI REMC's grid as needed. When a home produces an excess of electricity, SCI REMC buys the power back from the member at the wholesale rate (same as it gets from Hoosier Energy). The program allows SCI REMC to incorporate more solar power into its system by buying back the surplus generated by the solar homes.
SCI REMC has 84 members with solar arrays (with an average size of 8kw).
Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels
- Energy Efficiency Measures - Changing out your windows/doors, adding insulation, and upgrading old heating systems and appliances can often save energy at a lower cost than installing solar panels. Updating your home leads to reducing your total energy use. Geothermal heat pumps provide clean, quiet heating and cooling while cutting utility bills by up to 70%, and SCI REMC offers rebates for them.
- Purpose - Is your purpose environmental, to save money, to lower your electric bill, or for outage protection?
- Cost - The average cost of a standard (non-tracking) solar photovoltaic system is $2.50-$3.50 per watt. (The average 10kw system would cost $25,000 - $35,000.) A back up battery system to store excess energy costs an additional $2 per watt. The average payback for PV is 20 years.
- Square Footage - Each kw of power requires about 55-65 sq ft of space (whether it's on your roof or in your yard). A 10kw system would require 550-650 sq ft.
- Federal Tax Credit - There is a federal tax credit for solar projects. In 2018 and 2019, the tax credit is 30% of the total installed system cost. In 2020, it steps down to 26%. In 2021, it steps down to 22%. The tax credit expires for residential systems at the end of 2021. Batteries are included in the tax credit, assuming they are charged with solar power.
It takes approximately 33 - 300 watt solar panels to power an average Indiana home. Larger homes or inefficient homes would require more.
Once Your Solar Panels are Installed
- Review our small power generation system manual and requirements.
- Application - Email the following information to us for approval:
- Completed application
- Electrical one-line diagram of your system
- Specification sheets for all equipment in the interconnection
- Proof of insurance coverage (Must have at least a million dollar liability policy.)
- Contract - Once we have received your application, we will contact you and ask that you email the completed agreement with signature to us.
Functional Testing - Once your agreement is accepted, a functional test will be performed at the location of your interconnection with South Central Indiana REMC. The functional test is to ensure that the system cannot back feed electricity on the lines during a power outage. (Your meter will be replaced and your account will change to a Rate 71 or 711.) Schedule functional test with SCI REMC.