Berkeley Electric Cooperative supports a balanced mix of resources for generating power that utilizes both traditional means of power generation as well as emerging renewable technologies such as solar power and landfill gas generation from our Green Power program. Additionally, hundreds of Berkeley Electric members are participating in our rooftop solar program and have installed 50% more solar panels than can be found in the entire Colleton Solar Farm in Walterboro - which houses over 10,000 panels. If you have questions about solar power for your home or small business, please contact The Energy ExpertsTM at Berkeley Electric or visit MySolarSC.

Before installing a solar system

The first step to a successful solar system is ensuring that your home is energy efficient. Berkeley Electric Cooperative offers free online and in-home energy audits to help improve the comfort and efficiency of your home. Berkeley Electric also recommends that members consult with us for a free evaluation of the projected value of their proposed solar PV system prior to installation.

Member advisory

Please be aware that Berkeley Electric Cooperative does not sell or install solar PV systems nor do we partner with any solar installation companies. These companies are independent businesses selling directly to members and do not represent Berkeley Electric in any capacity. The cooperative maintains a list of professional solar installers, available upon request.  

Steps needed to interconnect a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, with Berkeley Electric Cooperative, Inc.

  1. Submit a copy of Interconnection Application (must be fully completed, signed and dated). (Submit the same info to the applicable Building Inspector’s office.)
  2. Submit a copy of Homeowners Insurance Declaration and sales contract: (total price with kWh production estimate per month).
  3. System Sizing Limit: due to our wholesale power agreement, we are limiting the size solar PV connected to the annual kWh use divided by 1,800 for the AC kW size or the average monthly kWh use/150.
  4. Submit a copy of a one-line electrical drawing and the $150.00 interconnection fee. Additional field inspection fee is $50, per inspection.
  5. Berkeley Electric will review for completeness and notify solar company of the application status
  6. Solar System construction: Effective Sept. 18, 2018 contractors MAY NOT connect in our meter base: they MUST connect in the member’s breaker panel. (See the engineering drawing below.)
  7. DO NOT enter our meter base! We will charge up to $1,000 for unauthorized meter tampering.
  8. When the solar panel system is completed, contact the city or county Building & Codes Enforcement for an inspection, who will notify Berkeley Electric of the release. Leave the house breaker to the solar PV system ON! And the outdoor disconnect OPEN! This will allow for a BEC metering inspection.
  9. See our solar panel installation drawing.
  10. Berkeley Electric engineering/metering staff is notified and a service order is submitted for installation of bi-directional meter.
  11. There is typically a two-week time period after the release is called in by the Building Codes Official for the bi-directional meter to be installed. Leave the breaker to the solar system ON inside and OFF at the outside disconnect near the meter. This will allow for proper inspection. The system should only be energized once Berkeley Electric installs the bi-directional meter.
  12. Either the solar PV company or the member is notified when bi-directional meter is installed. Berkeley Electric will not leave the solar PV system energized, unless an occupant is home at the time of inspection.
     

Berkeley Electric Cooperative Renewable Surplus Rider is available for Residential (up to 20 kWAC) and Small Commercial accounts (up to 100 kWAC) (BEC transformer <100 kVa). It is only available to non-demand billed rates and non-time of day rate. Large accounts (>100 kVa) may install bigger systems and use to lower their purchased kWh and no value for surplus power. We can help with custom sizing with hourly kWh use info, to help you get maximum use from your PV system.

Please be aware that an Interconnection Application must be completed and submitted before any solar system can be installed. Members interested in installing a solar PV system need to complete all of the following steps:

Berkeley Electric Cooperative Renewable Surplus Rider is available for Residential (up to 20 kWAC) and Small Commercial accounts (up to 100 kWAC) (BEC transformer <100 kVa). It is only available to non-demand billed rates and non-time of day rate. Large accounts (>100 kVa) may install bigger systems and use to lower their purchased kWh and no value for surplus power. We can help with custom sizing with hourly kWh use info, to help you get maximum use from your PV system.

  1. Residential/Commercial: Renewable Surplus rider allows our members to install alternative energy sources, like solar PV up to their maximum monthly kW use (not to exceed 20 kW Residential, Commercial max 100 kW). Size limited to annual kWh use divided by 1,800 for kW AC size or average monthly/150. Any kWh generated back to Berkeley Electric Cooperative will be credited at 5.25 cents per kWh, with this price update each year on/or about March 1st.
  2. Members remaining on Net Metering: On June 1st of each year the bank is reduced to zero (0). Berkeley Electric recommends all Net Metering members paying the $5 per kWAC solar fee to notify us if they would like to move to the Renewable Surplus Generation Rider. This would allow them to avoid paying the $5 per kW and get 5.25 cents per kWh credit for any surplus generated energy. Credit balances will be carried over to the next month.
  3. Available on Residential RS, General Service <100 kVa transformer service, non-demand billed. Not available for Time of Day rates. The monthly service charge is the same for all rate payers and not affected by being on the Net Metering rider or Renewable Surplus rider program.

Please note: Berkeley closed the previous Net Metering Rider to new solar PV systems once the new Renewable Surplus rider went into effect June 2019. Members grandfathered in on the previous Net Metering Rider will have the option to move over the Renewable Surplus rider or remain on the Net Metering Rider until it closes at the end of 2024. Members on the existing Bi-directional Metering and NOT getting value for Surplus will be moved over to the Renewable Surplus Rider. This rider has a maximum connected system kW Renewable of 2% of our system maximum kW.

 

Rate vs. solar production evaluation: Contact Tim Swicord for details about our Net Metering or Bi-Directional rate and the expected member savings per month.  Residential and small commercial.  tims@bec.coop or direct (843) 899-8406.

For Interconnection Application & Information:   Tameka Palmer (843) 899-8433 tamekap@bec.coop / Tim Swicord (843) 899-8406 or tims@bec.coop 

For all new installation of solar PV systems, for homes and small businesses, will be on the Renewable Generation Surplus rate, which began June 1, 2019.  The rate provides the same rate for received kWh or power, as other members.  For all surplus kWh coming back to us, we will credit at $0.0556 per kWh or 5.56 Cents per kWh.  A residential example of the billing is below:

solar%20billing%20example.png

For interconnection form completion, please complete the following:

  • Details as requested on the solar PV system
  • Member signature
  • Upload a copy of the Electrical One Line Drawing
  • Home owner’s home insurance policy
  • Complete the requested input areas

Complete the online interconnection form.