Member-owned Renewable Energy Installations
Dunn Energy Cooperative, along with Dairyland Power Cooperative, has limited the maximum size of member-owned renewable energy installations to 20kW (AC) or less.
How do I get started?
- Contact our Energy Specialist to make sure your project qualifies
- Fill out and submit the Distributed Generation application (below)
- Pay the $150 application fee. This will be charged to your next electric bill and is due before the start of your project.
- Contact your township's building inspector for any required permits/inspections
How do I start producing power?
- Once your system is installed, make an appointment for the final anti-island inspection
- Pay the $150 commissioning fee
Electrical Contractor's Affidavit
SunDEC is Dunn Energy Cooperative's 100kW Community Solar array. The array is located southeast of Menomonie on 370th Avenue in the Town of Dunn. SunDEC went into operation in February of 2017 and is built on the same site as the Dairyland Power Cooperative 1 Megawatt solar array.
How to read the solar production graph above
Along the left side of the graph, there are 5 black boxes:
POWER: This is the current output of the solar system. The kW Power will change, sometimes minute by minute. This number depends on how much sunshine or cloud cover there is and the overall performance of the array.
TODAY: This shows how many kWh’s have been produced by the community solar array today. You can click at the top of the page to see a graph of today, 5-day, week, month, year, or lifetime energy production.
THIS MONTH: This shows how many mWh’s have been produced by the community solar array this month.
THIS YEAR: This shows how many mWh’s have been produced by the community solar array this calendar year.
LIFETIME: This is a summary of all the energy produced from the community solar array minus the energy used to operate the system. If the solar field is not producing any energy it may need to draw power from the grid to run the tracking system and inverters.
Along the bottom of the graph you will see:
SYSTEM SIZE: It shows a 123 kW system. Keep in mind that solar power is produced in DC (direct current) but energy is consumed in our homes in AC (alternating current). So to get the 100 kW AC system output we wanted, we needed to build the system at about 123 kW DC size.
OPERATING SINCE: 11/8/16. This was when the system was initially energized. Official commercial operation began on 2/14/17 after all safety procedures were put in place and the testing was completed.
Along the right side of the graph you will see:
OUR IMPACT: This will scroll automatically on the side of the page for the month or the lifetime of the system. You can toggle between the two lists. This shows us what producing electric energy locally from solar has saved us compared to using conventional fossil fuels.
Now, the question you might have is, “Great! Now, how do I know how much is mine?”
There are 400 subscription units in the community solar array. To calculate how much energy is in your portion, the first step is to divide the number of units you purchased by the 400 total. So for example, if you purchased the output from one unit, you would divide 1/400 which is .003 or .3%. If you purchased four units, divide 4/100 which is .010 or 1%. You take those numbers multiplied by the output for the day, week, or month to calculate what your share of the solar unit is. This energy will also appear on your monthly energy bill as a credit.
If you are a member of the cooperative and interested in purchasing the output of our community solar array, please call the office at 715-232-6240 and ask for Chris. The cost of a unit is prorated based on how many months are left in the contract for production. The contract ends on January 31, 2042.
SunDEC Community Solar FAQs
Numerous Dunn Energy Cooperative members have expressed an interest in renewable energy. The purpose of the solar facility is to provide Dunn Energy Cooperative members with an affordable option to acquire locally-produced renewable energy.
You must sign a Solar Subscription Agreement and make a one-time payment for a subscription unit(s). The price will vary depending on what month over the project life you begin participating.
The subscribing member must have a single- or 3-phase account with Dunn Energy Cooperative. Owners and Renters are eligible.
The Dunn Energy community solar project is 100 kilowatts and is part of a larger 1,100 kilowatt (kW) array located just south of Menomonie. It is located in an ideal location, next to an existing substation that can handle the output of the solar array.
Obtaining power from small scale renewable generation sources costs more today than traditional sources. Many members have indicated they do not want to pay more for renewable energy. However, some of our members are willing to invest in this technology. This project was identified as a way to meet the needs of members that want some of their electricity generated from a renewable resource without increasing costs for other members.
A unit is 250-watts of electricity producing capacity. Dunn Energy’s community solar facility will be comprised of 400 250-watt units
Yes. Members are limited to the number of units equal to the kWh’s consumed in the last 12 months.
Yes, once you choose the number of subscription units that you want, full payment will be due before you can begin receiving community solar credit on your bill.
No. Since the benefit of each unit purchased is equal in energy production, and to make available the best pricing for every member, there will be no discount for multiple unit purchases.
No. The solar developer retained the tax credit and that is calculated into the price for the energy.
No, members are purchasing the capacity to produce renewable energy, not the hardware or components of the actual solar array. There are no direct rebates or tax benefits for participating. However, members are seeing the benefits of the tax credit in the upfront costs. All Green Power credits stay with the Cooperative.
No, not directly. The contract runs through January 31st, 2042. During that time your will receive your share of the energy produced, no additional fees or charges will be assessed to the member participants.
The total monthly energy production from the solar array shall be allocated to the participants in proportion to their share of participation in the 100 kW array. The resulting amount will be the credits in kilowatt-hours (kWhs) allocated per subscription unit. Each participating member’s account is credited the kWh for each unit they own, in effect lowering the monthly electric bill by the amount of renewable energy produced per unit. For example, let’s assume the array produces 12,000 kWh during the month, and you have purchased 2 subscription units totaling 500 watts of output. Your credit offset on your electric bill for that month would be 60 kWhs (500/100,000 x 12,000). If the electric meter at your residence for that month shows you used 1,000 kWhs, you would be billed for only 940 (1,000-60).
Doubtful, as each unit will generate approximately 394 kWh annually. Energy production will vary based on total sunshine, the age of the panels and time of year.
Yes. Subscribers may sell their subscription units to the Cooperative at a surrender value to be determined according to the number of years elapsed from the start-up date at the time of repurchase. The unit can also be transferred to another one of your accounts, or sold (or given) to another qualified Dunn Energy Cooperative member.
Subscribers will have 4 options:
- Sell the solar unit back to the Cooperative
- Keep the solar unit with existing home if the new member wants to purchase it.
- Sell (or give) the unit to another qualified member that is already served by the Cooperative.
- Transfer the unit to another one of your accounts.
25 years or until February 2042. The modules are warranted for the same duration. Over time, the electric production will decrease approximately 0.7 % per year according to the manufacturer.
This system is interconnected with the grid, so its output goes directly onto the Cooperative’s distribution system.
Yes. You can enroll in Dunn Energy Cooperative’s Evergreen Program. For as little as $1.00 per month added to your electric bill, you can support renewable energy by helping offset the additional generation costs.
Evergreen: 20 years of Renewable Energy for Your Lifestyle
Setting goals to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy isn’t a concept that was recently dreamed up in the conference rooms of Google, Apple, or IKEA. Dunn Energy Cooperative’s members have had access to renewable energy since 1998 through the Evergreen program
Evergreen was developed to provide members an opportunity to voluntarily contribute to the increased use of renewable energy sources without the financial burden of installing their own larger system. Starting at $1 per month, a member is assigned one Evergreen block of 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean, renewable energy. Evergreen will appear as a line item on the participating member’s monthly electric bill.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Evergreen, Dunn Energy members have more opportunities to participate in ways that fit their lifestyle or budget.
Evergreen Everyone: Members can support renewable energy in increments of 100 kilowatt-hour (kWh) blocks for just $1 per block per month ($0.01 per kWh).
Evergreen Everyday: Members who enroll in a storage strategy for their electric water heater will receive up to four Evergreen blocks to help keep their water hot.
Evergreen Everywhere: Members who charge their electric vehicle during off-peak hours will receive up to four Evergreen blocks.
Evergreen Everything: Being 100 percent powered by renewable energy isn’t just for large corporations. Through Evergreen Everything, members can choose to have 100 percent of their electricity use generated by renewable energy for $1 per 100 kWh block. The average cooperative home uses around 1,000 kWh per month, which equals $10 per month to be a green home.
Each Evergreen block is tracked monthly and reinforces that Evergreen is for all members who want to do more to increase the use of renewable energy sources. Evergreen subscriptions are in addition to any federal or state required renewable portfolio standards. Currently, renewable energy makes up 18 percent of Dairyland Power Cooperative’s generation portfolio, which includes solar, wind, hydro, and biogas. Dairyland is your cooperative’s wholesale power provider.