CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A new solar co-op covering Tucker, Randolph and Upshur counties called Solar United Neighbors held a virtual meeting via Zoom.
Solar United Neighbors spoke about expanding access to solar energy by educating residents about the benefits. The co-op helps residents organize group installations of solar panels. The organization hosts events and educational programs to help people become informed solar consumers while maximizing the value of their solar investments.
“You’ll be tied into the local electric grid, and you’ll continue to receive electricity from your utility provider. And the solar that is on your roof or anywhere else on your land is going to help offset that annual electric cost for you,” said Leah Barbor, a Presenter with the Solar United Neighbors program. “The DC power that’s produced at the panel level will flow through the inverter and become alternating current. That alternating current will then travel to your home’s electric service panel where you’re going to be able to use your home’s appliances. And so, it flows through your panel and powers your home.”
Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in the Mountain State and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters of solar energy.
“So, when it’s a nice sunny day and you’re producing more than you’re using on site, the excess will flow back out of your bidirectional electric meter and into the local electric grid through those distribution lines and down to the next house down the street,” Barbor said. “When you do produce more than you’re consuming on a really sunny day, you get credited for that on your electric bill. Here in West Virginia, we have a policy that in place that is called net metering.”
Barbor said that West Virginia unities don’t pay for overproduced electricity but put credits on a person’s account when they overproduce electricity. She stated that some residents can offset almost 100% of their annual electric consumption with onsite solar energy panels.