Valley Solar

/Valley Solar
Valley Solar 2018-01-03T23:29:48+00:00


Click here to see real time energy production from Valley Solar…

What is Valley Solar?

Valley Solar is the name of the new community solar project that is being developed by the Ravalli Electric Co-op. Community solar programs like this one allow co-op members to partially power their homes with solar energy without the expense and other inconveniences of a home solar system.

What are the advantages?

  • You can receive the benefits of solar power even if your home is in low light and without detracting from its aesthetic appeal.
  • Because you are buying the output from one or more solar panels (not the panels themselves), you are not responsible for the panel’s maintenance.
  • You pay a one-time fee upfront. You will not be responsible for additional fees (maintenance or otherwise) in the future.
  • You will receive an annual credit to your utility bill based on the amount of energy your share in the program generates and current energy rates.
  • You are locking in a percentage of your future energy rate now. If rates increase, so will your annual energy savings.

Here is what we found out when we asked REC members for their thoughts on solar!

Solar Survey Results

Donate Panel Output to a Non-Profit

Purchase solar output for your favorite non-profit to help them offset operational expenses. Simply complete the application form with the non-profit information rather than your own and we will make sure they receive the annual credit. Call 961-3001 with questions. Here are some of the organizations that reside on Ravalli Electric Co-op service:

Ravalli County Council on Aging              Bitterroot Dragon Brigade 

Trapper Creek Job Corps                           Bitterroot Therapeutic Riding

Corvallis School District                           Fox Hollow Animal Project


Percentage of Valley Solar Panels that are Currently Spoken For (out of 176)!

100% of total panels available are under reservation

Valley Solar FAQ

Community Solar gives members of the Ravalli Electric Co-op the opportunity to receive power from solar panels without the hassle and expense of installing panels at their home.

The Co-op is offering members a chance to purchase the energy output from one solar panel in an 88 panel, 25kW array.

The Ravalli Electric Co-op is committed to fulfilling the desires of our membership and exploring the feasibility of alternative green energy sources whenever possible. In the first quarter of 2015, we surveyed the membership to determine whether Community Solar was something of interest. And we were met with a resounding, YES! Out of the 910 members who responded, nearly 30% indicated their interest in purchasing at least one solar panel.
Valley Solar will be located adjacent to our Woodside Substation on Highway 93 in Victor, MT.

REC’s Valley Solar project is an easy, affordable way to support renewable energy development, and you will receive an annual credit on your electric bill for the electricity generated by your share of the project.

Ravalli Electric Co-op will contract to have the solar project built. It will be funded by the members of the co-op who are interested in participating. Participation is on a first come first serve basis.
No. The project will be funded by grant dollars and the remaining costs will be included in the price of each panel output share purchased.
Any REC member in good standing can participate in Valley Solar. Homeowners, renters, anyone who has Ravalli Electric service.
Yes! Initially, we limited panel output to one per member in order to give the entire membership the opportunity to participate, but we are now allowing members to purchase the output of up to 5 panels. If you would like to purchase more than 5 panels, we can likely accommodate that as well (as long as panels are available).
The total panel output price is $750. We are now accepting payments in full for Phase 2 of Valley Solar.
No, the insurance, warranty, management and maintenance for the system are included in the initial price. You will not be charged additional out-of-pocket fees.
We did experience more demand than we could satisfy with our first 25kw system. Therefore, we increased the project to 50kw and doubled the number of panels. If we feel it is warranted, we do have space for additional arrays.
Members are not purchasing the panel itself; they are simply purchasing the energy output of a single panel in the array. The Co-op owns and will maintain the panel for its projected life of 25 years.
Because of the grant funding acquired by the REC to construct the project as well as the fact that the panels themselves are technically owned by the REC, it is our understanding that members are not eligible for individual tax credits at this time. However, the Co-op will pass along the tax benefits it receives by lowering the cost of the solar output shares. We recommend you contact your tax consultant for clarification.
Each panel will cost $750 and it equates to 850 Watts of solar power which is projected to generate 360 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually. That’s enough electricity to operate a 19 cubic foot ENERGY STAR refrigerator for an entire year! The projection is based on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) PV Watts’s solar calculator but will vary slightly year to year. At REC’s current residential energy rate of $0.0642 the annual total will equal about $23.11. An average REC member uses 1,126 kWh a month. This amount will change over time as our rates change. REC will apply the annual kWh total to your utility bill once a year (possibly in April). You will be able to track the project and see how it is doing by going to our website to view the live solar production data
After 25 years, your contract with the REC Community Solar project will expire. At that time the Board of Directors of the co-op will decide, based on new technology and the needs of the membership at the time, whether to continue the project.
No. Participation in Community Solar is a purchase of the output from a solar panel in the array. The purchase entitles the member to annual bill credits and is not a donation.
The total output of the solar array will be accounted for annually and divided by the total number of units (88 panels). This kWh figure will be credited back to your bill once per year around April 1st.
We appreciate you and your commitment to the project. So, yes, you may be recognized on the Ravalli Electric Co-op website and various materials. If you would prefer, you may ask to remain anonymous.
If you move within the Ravalli Electric Co-op service area, we will transfer your Valley Solar membership to your new address. If you move outside the service area, you may choose to donate your panel to a friend, neighbor or family member. You may also sell your panel output to another individual through a private treaty sale and notify us of the change in ownership.
You must submit an application and provide a check for $750 per panel. You can also pay by credit card if you come into our office.
Ravalli Electric Co-op will not be offering any financing options. However, you may qualify for a consumer loan through your lending institution. Please check with Trail West Bank or Missoula Federal Credit Union for possible lending options.