Owning solar-generating installations can sometimes require significant up-front investment and is only compatible with some properties and roof types. Solar energy subscriptions through the community solar project are intended to provide an avenue for cooperative members who cannot own solar-generating installations to participate in solar energy production.
Construction of the solar panels in SVEC’s service territory began in September 2022 and, as of October 2023, solar generation is expected to begin soon. Enrollment in the program will follow, likely by late 2023 or at the start of 2024.
Community Solar Frequently Asked Questions
EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions, Inc., Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) and Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC). ODEC is SVEC’s power provider. EDF Renewables is working with ODEC to develop a portfolio of distributed solar projects across ODEC member service territories in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware – there are currently 12 projects being developed, designed and constructed in partnership with sister co-ops across the ODEC service territory. Randolf Solar Partners, LLC (an entity of EDF Renewables) will be located in Shenandoah County, and will be the first, and at this time only, Community Solar project within SVEC’s territory.
Community Solar farms will generate electricity at a remote location and the electricity credits generated will be passed through to the participants enrolled in this voluntary program. These credits will be equal to your share of the project. The energy generated by this community solar project is equivalent to about 570 homes’ annual electricity use.
SVEC will offer this voluntary program to our members as part of our latest rate revision, which went into effect on May 1, 2022. Once the enrollment is open (late 2023/early 2024 is the target), the cooperative will broadly communicate how members can learn more and sign up. We encourage members to enroll in our e-newsletter to get this and other important co-op news straight to their inbox: Sign up to stay in touch with our newsletter.
The project will be located on approximately 32 acres at 332 Walker Road and 595 Georgetown Road in Mount Jackson. It is adjacent to an existing SVEC substation.
The project alone will not cause our members’ rates to increase. All interconnection related expenses, including line and/or substation upgrades will be paid for by Randolf Solar Partners, LLC. Our investment in the project is like any other capital expense, no different than replacing a bucket truck, for example. When developing rates to ensure that we are properly recovering costs, all capital expenditures are considered together. To properly recover costs, we cannot subsidize a given project for a member that would mean the difference has to be made up by another member. We must be fair and equitable across all of our member classes – from residents to industries. Community Solar accomplishes this by offering voluntary enrollment – we’ll be introducing a tariff specifically for those members wishing to participate in the program.
The project is decommissioned and removed at the end of its 25 to 35 year useful life. The land may be returned to agricultural use at that time, at the landowner’s discretion. Decommissioning and removal is paid for by the project, not the landowner or the locality. As a condition of its Special Use Permit approval, prior to commencement of construction, EDF Renewables is required to provide a Decommissioning Plan to the county, which will include an estimate of the decommissioning costs, and shall be subject to the approval of the County Administrator.