Thinking about installing solar? Be aware of misinformation
SCI REMC supports a mix of power generating resources that utilize traditional means of power generation as well as renewable technologies such as solar power (or photovoltaic, PV). View our comprehensive Solar Energy information packet on 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. SCI REMC buys energy back from the member at a flat rate of $.06/kWh. This rate far exceeds the actual avoided cost recognized by our power supplier and shows SCI REMC’s commitment to supporting renewable energy. The program allows SCI REMC to incorporate more solar power into its system by buying back the surplus generated by the solar homes.
As of April 2021, SCI REMC has over 160 members with solar arrays (with an average size of 8.3kw).
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 backup 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 2020 the tax credit was 26% of the total installed system cost. 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:
Electrical one-line diagram of your system
Specification sheets for all equipment in the interconnection
Proof of insurance coverage (Must have at least a $500,000 liability policy.)
Contract - Once we have received your application, we will contact you and ask that you email the completed agreement signed 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 the SPGS Rate.) Schedule functional test with SCI REMC.