Cooperative Solar

The Cooperative Solar Project provides members access to renewable energy when they might otherwise be excluded from owning and installing their own solar electricity generation systems. Obstacles like improper roof orientation, excessive roof shading, restrictive subdivision covenants, or landlord prohibitions are often barriers to homeowners and renters who want to install solar systems.

MTE has taken another step in becoming the trusted energy advisor in the valley with the construction of its Cooperative Solar project in College Grove, TN.

Construction of the one-megawatt array was completed in November of 2016. The system is currently generating solar power that is being put back on the grid.

MTE residential members can participate in the program for a monthly program fee of $20 per energy block, which allows members to access the equivalent amount of generated capacity from approximately five solar panels. In some months, generated capacity may be less than the monthly participation cost; in other months it may exceed that cost. Members will see the monthly participation fee as well as their portion of the equivalent generation on their monthly electric bill.

Cooperative Solar advantages include the following:

  • MTE operates and maintains the facility
  • Economies of scale bring costs down
  • No holes in your roof
  • No solar siting issues (roof direction, shading, etc.)
  • Renters can participate
  • Homeowners under restrictive covenants can participate

Talk to an expert in solar. Find the right thing for you. 

We’ve got solar expertise on staff. Before joining MTE, Tim Suddoth spent over 6 years in the Solar Industry learning the ins and outs of sales, design estimating, permitting, commissioning, and installing solar systems. He holds certifications from NABCEP — the North America Board of Certified Energy Practitioners — the gold standard for solar. If you have any questions, Tim is available to talk to at no charge. 

Cooperative Solar Frequently Asked Questions

The MTE Cooperative Solar Project offers residential members solar energy from a large solar facility that generates more economically than rooftop or yard installations. The solar energy is delivered from the facility to the member's home by the same distribution lines already in place. This enables the member to avoid many problems that accompany rooftop installations and yard installations.

Putting a solar system on your roof will require you to have a sound structure with a roof covering. It will require you to remove all trees or obstructions that would shade your roof during the day. There are energy savings lost during the summer months by exposing your house to full sun. You would be responsible for the maintenance of the solar system as well as damage that could come from wind and hailstorms.

The presence of the rooftop solar is a problem when shingles must be replaced. There could also be a considerable cost to upgrade your electrical system to handle the power generated by the solar system. Building codes and neighborhood covenants may also pose problems. There could also be an issue with increased property taxes from the value added to your property. There is a question of whether the presence of a solar installation will be a positive or a negative in the event you choose to sell your home.

Owning rooftop solar requires an upfront cash payment as well as a long-term commitment. 

You might face many of the same problems posed by a solar system on your roof. While yard installation would avoid the roof structure issues, you would add the loss of yard space and be responsible for maintaining the property around the solar system.

Yes. You must be a member with an active residential account in good standing to participate in the MTE Cooperative Solar Program.

No. The system is designed with enough generation capacity to pay for itself.

By clicking the "Cooperative Solar Sign-Up" link on this page, you can request more information or ask to be added to the waiting list.

A monthly program fee of $20 per energy block will allow members access to the generated capacity. In some months, generated capacity may be less than the monthly participation cost; in other months it may exceed that cost. Members will see their portion of the generation on their monthly electric bill.

Each residential member may request up to two blocks of solar energy on a first-come, first-served basis. If blocks are sold out, we will place your name on a waiting list.

We will credit your monthly bill to reflect the amount of electricity produced from the previous month by your portion of the Cooperative Solar facility.

No. You are purchasing the electricity generated by the solar panels, but you will not own any property or equipment.

There is no long-term contract. You may stop participation at any time by notifying MTE before your account bills for the current month. In the event your account has billed, you will not be billed the next month. Keep in mind, when you leave the program you may have to be placed on a waiting list to join again.

Since there is no equipment required on the property, renters may participate in the same way as homeowners.

No problem. You can keep your solar energy blocks if you move to another location served by MTE. If you move outside of the cooperative’s service territory or otherwise discontinue participating in the program, the co-op will make the block of energy available to another interested member.

Middle Tennessee Electric maintains the solar array and there is never a charge to you for maintenance or upkeep to the system.

None. You may stop participating at any time.

The initial source of solar energy for MTE’s Cooperative Solar Program is in College Grove, TN. The site currently hosts s more than 3,000 solar panels with a maximum output of 1megawatt of local, green, renewable energy.

Yes. MTE is committed to providing options for our members looking for renewable energy options. 

Distributed Energy Resources

You can enter your information in the signup form to receive more information or be added to the waiting list.