FAQs

How does the process work?

We analyze your power bills, study your usage, examine your electrical system, and make a recommendation to provide the lowest cost of purchased solar energy. We sign an agreement, construct a solar facility, and begin powering your facilities.

How much land do you need?

For ground-mounted solar, the general rule of thumb is about 8 acres per 1,000 kilowatts of power. A typical high school with 500 students will require roughly 500 kilowatts which would be about 3-5 acres.

Do you lease land as a part of a solar project?

Yes. Included in our project costs is a land lease payment. We generally prefer to lease available customer land. It’s just another way for customers to benefit financially from the solar farm.

How close does the solar farm have to be to my facility?

On-site or less than a mile away is typical.

I do not have available land, or I want to save my spare acreage for future expansions. Do I need to locate land?

Not at all. We understand solar is not one of your primary focuses. Feel free to save room for a new gymnasium, classrooms, or dorms in the future. We will gladly locate nearby land and secure it for your project.

How long is construction?

It depends on project type and size, but you can expect approximately two months for a school or municipality and six months for a university or hospital.

Does it matter who my current utility provider is?

No.

Why is no one else doing this?

Well, they are! Just maybe not in your area or state, yet. According to a 2016 study by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), approximately 5,500 schools have become solar schools and are utilizing projects as small as powering a lamppost to standardized projects which offset entire energy consumption. Check out their map to see project locations.

This sounds too good to be true. What are we missing?

It really is that simple. We handle the heavy lifting, expenses, operations, and maintenance. You get the benefits of renewable energy.

I’ve heard solar is a great way to save on energy, but we do not have money in our budget for it. How much will it cost?

No capital investment is required from our customers. We handle the construction expense, operating expenses, maintenance, taxes, and any other project expenses. Customers only make a commitment to buy clean power at a cheaper rate when the solar farm is producing power.

We have a budget for LED lighting retrofits to be used over the next few years. Do you do LED lighting changeouts?

EnPower does not; however, our partners do. We are happy to include LED lighting retrofits into our project scope and add on to receive even more energy savings. It’s a great way to have the solar farm pay for the lights and increase your energy savings.

What are the on-going expenses associated with a solar farm?

Land lease. Property taxes. Insurance. Grass cutting. General electrical maintenance. Again, we handle all project expenses.

What happens on cloudy days and at night?

You will still receive power. Our projects are backed by the electrical grid and power will flow when the solar farm is not or only slightly generating.

Is the solar stored in any way?

Only if a project includes a battery. We recommend storage for most customers.

How much attention will our facilities and leadership groups have to give to the project before and after construction?

None to minimal. During pre-construction, we will go through the proper approval channels specific to your institution. Upon project approval, we take care of everything.

What happens at the end of the term?

We are happy to discuss continuation of service. If not, we will return land to its original state.

Are there educational opportunities associated with the solar farm?

Absolutely. It’s the fun part for us. We like to include curriculum to accompany our projects to be used in classrooms. We also like to partner with the Future Farmers of America or 4-H Club to incorporate agriculture uses at our solar farms.

Do you do rooftop solar?

We can install rooftop systems or even solar canopies in parking lots; however, those options will drive up price. To provide the best energy rate to our customers, our recommendation is to first locate available land and install ground-mounted solar systems.

I’ve heard that solar panels degrade over time. Do you take this into consideration?

Yes. The facility does not produce the same in the first year as it does in following years. We engineer our facilities to be the right fit for the life of the project.

I’ve heard solar plants will take birds. Is this true?

Not the technology that we build. This sometimes occurs with concentrating solar plants as opposed to photovoltaic systems.

Are you one of those companies that comes in and analyzes our electricity, water and sewage bills and makes recommendations on where to find savings?

No. We construct and operate solar facilities to give customers access to cheaper, cleaner power. It’s somewhat like having your own power plant.

Have you built one of these before?

Yes. Our team has been involved in projects from early development all the way through operation. Most of these projects have been on a scale 10, 20, or 30 times larger than the size that we build for schools, municipalities and hospitals.

How does EnPower make money?

We model all project costs to achieve a target return for our partners which includes a management fee for the facility.

What happens if EnPower is no longer a company in 10, 15, or 20 years? Will I be stuck with a solar project to operate on my own?

No. While we do not anticipate a dramatic project control change, your interaction with the project and the energy produced will remain the same. Our financial partners are committed to long-term ownership and places high value in their relationship to customers.