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Steele-Waseca Electric Cooperative Announces New Community Solar Model with Off-Peak Water Heating

January 13, 2015

Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric (SWCE) has announced an innovated community solar program that allows  cooperative members to purchase a subscription for a 410-watt panel for $170.  The program called The Sunna Project, combines SWCE’s popular water heater program with community solar in an effort to make renewable energy economical for all cooperative members.


To participate in The Sunna Project, a SWCE member will need to sign up for SWCE’s 16-Hour Water Heater Program where SWCE will provide the member with a 85- or 105-gallon Marathon electric water heater at no cost.  Once on the 16-Hour Water Heater Program, SWCE members are eligible to purchase a single panel subscription at the one-time cost of $170 to SWCE’s community solar farm.  Additional panel subscriptions are available to the member at the $1,225 per panel subscription.  For members who do not wish to join SWCE’s 16-Hour Water Heater Program, subscriptions are also available for $1,225 per 410-watt panel.

The 102.5 kW dc community solar farm will be built at SWCE’s headquarters with an expected in-service date of June 2015.   This first stage of SWCE’s community solar farm will initially have 250 solar panels available for subscription.  All SWCE members will have the option to purchase a subscription for up to 20 panels.  (Members will not be allowed to purchase more panels than would offset their average annual usage. )

Community solar subscribers would see a monthly kWh credit on their energy bill reflecting their subscription portion of the total energy produced by the solar array during the previous month.  Subscribers are entitled to the monthly kWh solar credit each month until June 2035.

With the economical price, SWCE expects The Sunna Project to fill up fast.  Additional information for The Sunna Project may be found on SWCE’s website or by calling SWCE staff at 1–800–526–3514.  For general information on community solar gardens and working with your local utility, you may also check out Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams.

Community Solar Gardens

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