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Solar power in West Virginia

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Solar power in West Virginia

Solar power in West Virginia on rooftops can provide 22.9% of all electricity used in West Virginia from 6,300 MW of solar panels, but West Virginia will be the last state in the United States to reach grid parity - the point where solar panels are cheaper than grid electricity - without incentives, due to the low cost of electricity - about 6.2¢/kWh. The point where grid parity is reached is a product of the average insolation and the average cost of electricity. At 6.2¢/kWh and 4.3 sun hours/day solar panels would need to come down to the neighborhood of $1,850/kW installed to achieve grid parity. The first state in the US to achieve grid parity was Hawaii. Cost, though, is not the only reason to choose solar power. The primary reason is to stop using coal and oil, and switch to renewable sources of energy. There are many disadvantages to using coal as an energy source.

Net metering is available continuously to residential consumers generating up to 25 kW and up to 2 MW for industrial users but is limited to 3% of peak demand the previous year. West Virginia was given an A for net metering and a B for interconnection policies. In addition to the 30% federal tax credit, West Virginia has a 30% tax credit, but unlike the federal credit, is limited to $2,000. A $7,000 system can therefore be installed for $2,900.

In 2012 the largest solar array in West Virginia was the 407 kW array installed on a carport at the American Public University System financial center in Charles Town, which includes 15 charging stations for electric cars.

References

Solar power in West Virginia Wikipedia


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