Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative has installed a 4.5 kW solar array adjacent to our headquarters building in Huntley. The purpose of this display is to educate our Members and anyone interested in learning about renewable energy generation. The solar array will provide real time data that can be monitored to help you better understand how solar energy works and to help determine if renewable energy generation is something worthy of your personal investment.

The information below is specific to the YVEC solar array. It shows the total system cost and an estimation of how long it will take for the solar system to pay for itself. Please keep in mind that actual system output and payback may vary slightly based on your location and usage.

Please keep in mind that solar panels do degrade or loose efficiency each year and typically have a standard panel warranty of 25 years. The output of our system should not be less than 80% of the nameplate rating after 25 years. In order to keep things simple, our estimations for payback assume a 100% output. We don’t know for sure what performance our array will be after 25 years. That will, no doubt, be a part of the data we will provide from our project in the years to come.

YVEC Solar Array

Cost Summary

The cost Summary for a 4.5 kW Solar Array is detailed below.

Solar modules w/Inverter $7,850.00
 Rocking & Concrete $5,950.00
 Electrical Equipment & Wiring $1,450.00
 Monitoring $1,000.00
 Permitting & hours $300.00
 Installation & Equipment $7600.00
 Total System Cost $24,150.00
($5.37/watt)
System Size 4.5 kW
Projected Output 5,738 kWh/year
Annual Output in $ @ .095/kWh $545.11/year
Total System Cost $24,150.00
Payback – years @ 0% Interest 44.3 years
Payback w/ 30% Tax Credit 26.6 years

Actual output may vary. Please follow our actual kWh generated by viewing the system output graph

To see how the system is performing click here.

About Renewable Energy Generation

Please also view the Montana Electric Cooperative Association video on renewable energy generation to learn more about costs for Co-op members