Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative has been connected with solar energy for over a decade. Many members notice that our own building is covered in solar panels to offset the energy use in our headquarters. Even though the program has existed for more than a decade, only .01% of our members maintain solar on their homes. Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative’s electric rates are one of the lowest in the state, typically offsetting much of the savings that leased rooftop solar systems promise.
Recently, the State of New Jersey created the Community Solar Pilot Program which will allow utility customers who have shaded roofs or those living in communities that do not allow for roof-top solar installations to be able to obtain and reap the benefits from solar power. The new Community Solar Pilot Program will also allow the State of New Jersey to help meet its Clean Energy Goals.
A simple data search showed 85% of U.S. residents can neither own nor lease systems because of housing constraints. The Federal government has supported programs in several states that allow groups of individuals or homeowner associations to develop utility-scale solar power facilities in collaboration with local utilities that would distribute the power and credit owners based on their percentage of investment allowing the individuals to take advantage of the tax credits.
Working with members, Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative has dipped its toe into the community solar pool. Once again, Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative will blaze new trails in the energy sector for New Jersey. As community solar applications are just starting to cross the desks of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) for approval, Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative has approved the first community solar array on its lines. As New Jersey’s only Rural Electric Cooperative, SREC is not subject to the jurisdiction of the BPU, and as a result, Sussex Solar Gardens, LLC will begin construction in October.
In true Cooperative fashion, the collaboration between Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative and Sussex Solar Gardens, LLC has worked out a symbiotic relationship that will allow SREC members to take advantage of solar power without installing anything at their home, while still proactively protecting all the members of SREC whether they wish to participate in this program or not. All of the project costs are covered by Sussex Solar Gardens and its investors, not the Cooperative or its members.
Purchase of solar panels at Sussex Solar Gardens, LLC is available exclusively to SREC members. While we do not own, operate, or control Sussex Solar Gardens, we will offer bill credits each month to participating members based on kWh generated by their panels. If you are interested, or for more information, please visit www.sussexsg.com.
Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative is the only Rural Electric Cooperative in the State of New Jersey. SREC is a locally owned and managed electric utility incorporated in the State of New Jersey in April of 1937. SREC’s service territory represents over 11,000 members in the Northwestern portion of Sussex County, New Jersey. Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative was recently ranked as one of the top Cooperatives in the United States of America with an American Customer Satisfaction Index score of 94.