Solar power in Alabama on rooftops can provide 20% of all electricity used in Alabama, with 13,000 MW of solar panels.
Offering net metering is required by federal law, but Alabama is one of only four states to not have adopted a statewide policy on net metering, which means it needs to be negotiated with the utility.IREC best practices, based on experience, recommends no limits to net metering, individual or aggregate, and perpetual roll over of kWh credits.
Alabama Power has installed four types of solar panels in Birmingham that can be monitored on the Internet. The company will pay up to 4.81¢/kWh during the summer and 3.93¢/kWh in the winter for excess generation from up to 100 kW systems. Peak power rates are weekdays, 1 to 7 pm in summer and 5 to 9 am in winter. Customers choosing the Time Advantage Energy rate pay 7¢/kWh during winter peak periods and 25¢/kWh during summer peak periods. Off peak is charged 5¢/kWh. Using time advantage requires a time of use meter, and the base charge is increased by $10.50 each month.
In 2010, one of Alabama's largest solar arrays was the 25 kW system installed at the Coastal Response Center, in Coden, Alabama. A $250,000 economic stimulus grant was used to install 156 solar panels on Anniston's Museum of Natural History, which was completed on August 24, 2011. The output of this 25.2 kW system can also be monitored online.