Renewable Rays

If you ever thought it would be cool to have your home powered by solar, now you have a great opportunity to make that a reality. MiEnergy's community solar project, Renewable Rays, consists of 180, 410-watt units in Rushford and 90, 275-watt units in Cresco that are being offered to members of the cooperative.  

Members can purchase the output of a unit that will allow a one-for-one credit from the output of the community solar project to the member's monthly electric bill for the next 20 years. The unit output cost includes insurance, operations, maintenance and all other costs associated with operating the community solar project over 20 years.

The project is designed NOT to be subsidized by members not participating in the project. MiEnergy is also pleased to report that its community solar model is being used by electric cooperatives all across the United States and implemented through the National Renewables Cooperative Organization.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why did MiEnergy build community solar?

There has been significant interest by MiEnergy members for a cooperative-owned source for renewable energy.
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What is the purpose of Renewable Rays?

It provides MiEnergy members with an affordable option to acquire locally produced renewable energy.
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Do I have to be a MiEnergy member to participate?

Yes, to be eligible you must be a MiEnergy member in good standing with an active electric account.
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What size are the solar arrays and where are they located?

The 73.8 kilowatt (kW) array is located at the Rushford headquarters facility. The 24.75 kW array is located at our Cresco headquarters facility.
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How much energy will the solar arrays produce?

Energy production will vary from month to month and year to year based on how much the sun shines. Estimated annual production in the range of 105,000 – 107,000 kWh (Rushford) and 25,000 – 30,000 kWh (Cresco) is expected. This results in approximately 50 kWh per unit per month on an annual  basis for Rushford and 25 kWh per unit per month for Cresco.
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How do I participate in the Renewable Rays community solar program?

You must sign a membership agreement and make a one-time payment (no additional fees) for a unit(s) in the amount of $1,400.00 per unit (Rushford) and $1,200.00 per unit (Cresco). Starting September 1, 2014 the remaining units will be discounted each month until the project is fully subscribed. This will allow all participants to be on the same 20 year time-frame. Payment by check is due at time of sign up.
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What is a "unit"?

A unit is a designated amount of energy producing capacity. Renewable Rays is made up of 180 units. Participating members purchase the energy output from the unit(s).
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How do I receive payment for participating in the program?

Each month the energy produced by the solar array will be measured and the total divided by 180 (units) (for Rushford) and 90 (units) (for Cresco.) Each participating member’s account is credited the kilowatt-hours (kWh) for each unit they own, in effect lowering the monthly electric bill by the amount of renewable energy produced per unit.
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Am I responsible for any future costs to maintain the solar system?

No, MiEnergy agrees to own, operate, maintain and provide insurance for solar array for the duration of the program.
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How long could I receive benefits from Renewable Rays?

The term of the program is 20 years.
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By participating, do I own part of Renewable Rays?

No, members are purchasing the capacity to produce renewable energy, not the hardware or components of the actual solar array. There are no rebates or tax benefits for participation.
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Can I participate if I already have my own distributed generation system?

It depends on how much of your monthly energy use is already provided by your system. The benefit you receive from Renewable Rays is in the form of a monthly kWh bill credit. Members will need to make sure they can use the credit to offset their energy use because there is no cash payment for the energy credit.
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What if I transfer or cancel my MiEnergy account?

In the event that a member closes their account, they may request that their unit(s) be transferred to another of their accounts, to another MiEnergy member or be repurchased by MiEnergy.
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How do I sign up to participate in Renewable Rays?

Interested members may contact Ted Kjos, V.P. of Marketing / External Relations (507-864-9232 or tkjos@MiEnergy.coop) to obtain additional information and a Renewable Rays membership agreement.
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