Solar FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Solar System

What is the Three Rivers Market Solar System?
o In June 2014, we purchased our new 49.88 kilowatt, 344 x 145 watt module solar photovoltaic system for the south facing Baxter Avenue side of our roof.

How much energy will the co-op’s solar system generate?
o Annual production is estimated to be 63,846.4 kilowatt hours

Based on CO2 emissions from a pound of coal, how many pounds of coal will the co-op’s production of
clean energy be equal to per year?

o 47,288 pounds of coal burned

Based on carbon sequestered by a one (1) acre U.S. forest, how many acres of forest is it equal to?
o 36.1 acres of U.S. forest in one year. Find out more using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Who installed the system?
o Aries Energy, 487 Sam Rayburn Parkway, Lenoir City, Tennessee 37771.

What can you tell us about the solar panels?
o Our 145 watt modules are made in the USA, produced by Stion in their Hattiesburg, Mississippi facility. Environmentally responsible, these panels are fully compliant with the European Union Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive.

What percentage of our store’s total kilowatt hours is the solar system projected to generate?
o About 10%.

How will we use the energy generated by our system?
o The co-op has participated in KUB’s Green Power program since its inception, purchasing 33 Green Power Blocks of renewable energy each month.

We are now participating in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Green Power Providers Program too! TVA will purchase the renewable energy produced by our solar system at a premium rate for the first 10 years and at the retail rate for the next 10 years. Payment is in the form of a credit against our monthly utility bill.

Find out more about the TVA Green Power Providers Program:

How much did the system cost?
o $126,695

How long will it take for the co-op to make a return on this investment?
o It will take the first 12 years or so of the 20 year contract to pay ourselves back via straight utility savings. After that, we stand to gain between $75,000 and $130,000 in the last 8 years of the contract, depending on utility rates and the productivity of our system. Including the impact of taxes and depreciation, Aries Energy projects a 10% return on investment.

Are there any tax credits we can take advantage of?
o The federal government offers a 30% solar tax credit. Unfortunately, we will not be able to use it. Cooperatives are restricted from rolling tax credits over from year to year and we already have credit that must be used first.

What is the expected life span of the system?
o We have a 10 year workmanship warranty plus a 25 year limited power output warranty.