Solar energy can be broken down into two categories; solar electric and solar thermal. Solar electric consists of photovoltaics (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) that produces electricity. Solar thermal technologies capture the sun's thermal energy for water or space heating. For passive solar building design please see Publication 1293.
For basic information on solar energy energy technologies and resources please see the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Basics website.
Missouri’s Solar Energy Resource
What is it, how much is there, and how can we use it?
When considering the installation of a solar electric system or a solar thermal system on your home, there are several factors that should be evaluated, including solar access, utility cost and use, incentives and the cost of the system.
Missouri has more than 200 sunny days per year, for an average of 4.5 to 5.0 kilowatt hour per square meter per day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) solar maps. Missouri’s solar resources actually exceed those of Germany, which leads the world in solar energy production on less than three kWh per square meter per day.
NREL’s PVWatts is a great program for determining the solar resource at your location and the expected energy output of a solar PV system. Site specific solar access in Missouri depends on installing the system so it is not shaded by trees or other buildings. Installation may also be affected by local zoning and building permits and property owner association restrictions.
For many years the cost of electricity in Missouri has averaged seven cents per kilowatt hour ($0.07/kWh), compared to prices in the 10-14 cents range ($0.10 to $0.14 /kWh) in other parts of the country, which tempered investment in renewables. As the cost of electricity in Missouri has increased to the 10 cents range, there has been an increased demand for measures to help control the rising cost of electricity, including renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. Contact your electric provider for more information on your electric rate structure, how much energy you use and how a solar photovoltaic system could affect your monthly bill.
Effective August 28, 2018 per Senate Bill 564 (2018), RSMO 393.1670 mandates that electrical corporations make solar rebates available for systems that become operational between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2023. These rebates apply to new or expanded solar electric systems, limited to up to twenty-five kilowatts (25 kW) per system for residential customers and up to one hundred fifty kilowatts (150 kW) per system for nonresidential customers. The available rebates include a fifty cent per watt ($0.50/W) rebate available for systems that become operational between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019. In addition, a twenty-five cent per watt ($0.25/W) rebate will be available for systems that become operational after June 30, 2019, through December 31, 2023. Specific information for each Missouri investor-owned utility can be found in their respective Public Service Commission filings, which are listed below.
KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company
Solar Photovoltaic Rebate Program – Effective October 15, 2018
Company Contact for Additional Information: NetMeteringApp@kcpl.com
See Sheets R-62.19 through 62.25
Solar Photovoltaic Rebate Program – Effective September 28, 2018
Company Contact For Additional Information: Ms. Missy Henry, 314-554-3254, firstname.lastname@example.org
See Sheets 88 through 88.13
Empire District Electric Company
Effective August 31, 2018
Company Contact: Justin Mynatt, 1-800-206-2300 (extension 5181)
See Sheets 15A through 16F
Installation of solar panels (a photovoltaic or PV system) can produce numerous benefits to an individual and a community, ranging from lowered and secured energy costs to reduced environmental impact. Additional attributes of photovoltaic modules include low or zero noise, high durability and reliability, simplicity of operation, low maintenance and high power quality. The distributed nature of solar power minimizes transmission line losses, and provides maximum production at times of peak demand.
This general overview of solar energy information and the information on the linked pages above is intended to help people beginning to think about building or buying either a photovoltaic or solar water heating system. It includes tables describing Missouri's solar resource, general explanations of passive and active solar energy systems, and bibliographical information and web links intended to lead interested parties to additional information.