What is community solar?
The Marquette community solar garden will give Marquette Board of Light & Power (MBLP) electric customers the opportunity to benefit from renewable energy without having to install and maintain solar panels on their property. Instead, the solar panels will be located on site at the MBLP’s service center. Participants in this voluntary program will be able to license property and purchase solar panels for a term of 25 years. The renewable energy generated by these panels will be reflected as a credit on their electric utility bill from MBLP.
How many panels are available?
There are 480 total panels available.
How much energy will each panel produce?
Each panel is rated at 315 watts and will produce up to 382 kilowatt hours per year.
How much will I be credited on my bill?
Each customer that purchases a panel will be credited $.0633 per kilowatt hour. Over the course of a year we estimate this to be just over $24 per year.
What are renewable energy certificates?
By using renewable resources to produce electricity, the solar garden becomes eligible for renewable energy certificates (RECs). A REC is created by every megawatt-hour of electricity generated from the solar garden. The RECs generated from this project belong to the MBLP.
Who is eligible to participate?
Any Marquette Board of Light & Power customer in good standing is eligible to take advantage of this program. This includes residential, commercial, industrial and institutional customers. Though the solar garden will be located within the jurisdictions of the City of Marquette, MBLP customers who live outside of the city are eligible to participate as well.
Why participate in community solar?
It’s simple. You can easily purchase solar panels for your home or business and start receiving on-bill utility credits to offset your energy consumption costs over 25 years. It’s affordable. You can purchase one or more panels to fit within your budget. It’s local. Community solar produces homegrown renewable energy.
Many people are interested in getting rooftop solar on their home or business, which is a good thing. However, not all buildings are good candidates for solar because they have poor siting to the sun, the roofs are not structurally sound enough, the buildings are rented and not owned by the occupant, or the occupant does not want to invest the upfront cost to install solar.
Community solar is “get it and forget it.” Participants in this program do not need to install or maintain the solar array. And the garden is located in a place that has unobstructed exposure to the sun, maximizing the amount of energy the array will produce.
Where will the community solar garden be located?
The community solar garden will be built at the MBLP service center at 2200 Wright Street. The site will include a maximum of 480 panels. This site was chosen due to proper siting to the sun, accessibility and high visibility. Once constructed, people will be able to tour the site as allowed by the tour schedule.
When will the community solar garden be built?
Construction on the MBLP community solar garden is scheduled to begin in July, with the array being fully operational in August.
How can I get involved?
Hop on over to our Sign Up page to secure your panels in the MBLP community solar garden. Panels will be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis.
Will my purchase of solar panels qualify for the federal Investment Tax Credit?
It is the sole responsibility of the customer to take any steps necessary to determine your eligibility to claim the federal Investment Tax Credit. Please consult your tax professional for more information.
Costs & Requirements
How do I determine the number of panels I should lease?
Check out our Solar Math table to get started. This page shows estimated annual solar production associated with different quantities of panels.
How much will it cost to participate in the program?
The upfront cost for each 315-watt solar panel for 25 years is is only $499, or $1.59 per watt, for purchases of 1-30 panels. This great price is thanks to an incentive from our Energy Optimization program. People may purchase up to the number of panels that would generate the equivalent of their average annual electricity demand. The MBLP, at its discretion, will make the final determination of the number of panels a customer can license.
What do I get in return for my license?
The amount of your on-bill utility credit will depend upon how many solar panels you license. We estimate that a 315-watt solar panel will generate a credit to your utility bill of $20-25 in the first year. Your “payback” is estimated to be in Year 20 out of your 25-year lease. You also will not have any additional expenses for upkeep and repairs to the solar array: that’s the responsibility of the MBLP.
You also will have the satisfaction of helping to expand the amount of renewable energy on the MBLP’s grid, which will reduce pollution and make our region more energy independent. The renewable energy, represented by REC ownership, belongs to the MBLP.
What happens if I move to a different address?
If a participant moves to another property within MBLP’s service territory, that customer can remain in the program at the new address. People who leave the MBLP system have several license transfer opportunities. If a customer owns and is selling a building, that customer could include the pro-rated value of his/her solar license in the building sale price. Customers could also choose to transfer the remainder of their license to another MBLP customer, including an individual, business, church, school, or a favorite charitable organization, so long as they meet criteria set forth in the Solar Land License & Management Agreement.
If I participate, what is my legal agreement with this program?
Participants will be required to read and accept the terms and conditions of the Solar Land License & Management Agreement as part of their application package to the program. The application package, including the Solar Land License & Management Agreement, can be found on the Sign-up page.
How does the solar power get to my home or business?
Solar power generated from the community solar garden will go directly onto the MBLP electric grid and participants will be credited against their electric consumption for the electricity production from their portion of the array.
If my solar credit exceeds my energy bill, will the credit be carried over?
Yes, excess solar credits will be carried forward monthly with a 12-month settlement period based on billing cycles for bills produced from May 1 to April 30.
Can customers of utility companies other than MBLP participate?
No, this program is only available to MBLP electric customers. If you are uncertain if you are a MBLP electric customer, contact us and we can determine that for you.