LEARN ABOUT SOLAR
As your Touchstone Energy cooperative, Bon Homme Yankton Electric is your source for energy and information.
Considering Solar? Contact the Co-op
Bon Homme Yankton Electric encourages any member considering solar power to contact our office before purchasing or installing a system. There are several steps to take to ensure the system is installed properly and members are receiving the most value from their system.
Call (605) 463-2507 before purchasing or installing a system
Complete Distributed Generation Application
Complete Battery Storage Application if relevant
Complete Interconnection Agreement from Bon Homme Yankton Electric
Complete inspections and other requirements according to Bon Homme Yankton Electric policies
How Do We Generate Electricity From The Sun?
Solar energy systems work when sunlight hits a solar photovoltaic module (solar panel or PV panel) and causes an electric current to flow. The current produced from the PV panels is controlled and regulated by an inverter, which converts direct current to alternating current, needed for use by household appliances. The electrical panel is where the power gets distributed throughout your house; any excess electricity may be sent from the panel back to your cooperative's power grid.
How Much Electricity Can I Generate?
This is determined by your energy needs. Contact us for more information and a copy of our policies.
Will Bon Homme Yankton Electric Buy Excess Energy Produced With A Solar System?
A majority of the solar PV systems installed in the region need to be grid-connected systems so co-op members can continue to receive power when their system is not producing solar energy. That means a system installed at a home or business is connected to Bon Homme Yankton Electric's grid of power lines so electricity can flow both ways (to your home from the cooperative, and from your system back to the electrical grid). Particularly on sunny days when your energy use may be low, your system may produce excess energy that can flow back to the grid and will be purchased back by Bon Homme Yankton Electric.
Bon Homme Yankton Electric purchases energy generated by a PV system at the avoided power cost. The avoided power cost is the wholesale cost of power that Bon Homme Yankton Electric 'avoids' buying from co-op-owned power plants because the co-op is buying from a member at the end of the line. This cost is less than the retail per kilowatt-hour rate paid by the member every month because Bon Homme Yankton Electric still needs to pay for the poles, wires, and infrastructure to connect the solar PV system to the grid. Members with grid-connected solar systems must sign an interconnection agreement with Bon Homme Yankton Electric.
How Much Does A Solar PV System Cost?
The price of PV components varies depending on the size of the system, type and quality of the components purchased, and the complexity of the system selected. To determine costs, look for online calculators or get bids from reputable installers.
How Long Is The Payback Period On A Solar PV System?
The payback period can range from fewer than 10 years to more than 20 years, depending on the system cost, available rebates and incentives, the amount of electricity produced, and the purchase price of the electricity generated by the system.
How Long Do Solar PV Systems Last?
Certified PV products and systems generally are reliable, with a life expectancy of about 30 years. Manufacturers test PV panels for hail impact, high wind, and freeze-thaw cycles to represent real-life situations. Most manufacturers offer 20 to 25-year warranties for panels; extended warranties may be available at an extra cost. PV panels may outlast the roof they are attached to. Make sure your roof is in good shape or budget for replacement during the life of the system.
How Can I Know If a Solar PV System Will Work On My House?
To begin, look at factors such as which direction your home faces, the condition of your roof, and obstructions such as trees and other buildings that may block the sun during the peak generation period of 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Solar contractors can provide a more detailed analysis on what to expect.
If My House Is Not Sited For Solar Are There Other Renewable Options?
Bon Homme Yankton Electric offers a Renewable Energy Credit (REC) program if your house or apartment is not a suitable location for solar. Members can purchase RECs from Bon Homme Yankton Electric to offset their electric use with renewable energy. RECs are generated by renewable resources that are owned by the cooperative.