Solar power

Harness the power of the sun with Lincoln's green energy

Whether you want to support solar by adding a monthly donation to your bill, purchase "virtual" solar panels, or install your own solar panels, we have options to help you harness the power of the sun!

Help the environment and save money by participating in LES' solar programs! By participating in our programs, you can create a difference and help make Lincoln a cleaner place to live.

View solar options available for your home or business

Download our Community Solar brochure


What is solar power?

Solar power is an exciting part of the world’s energy future, allowing people to harness the abundant power of the sun wherever it shines. The concept is simple: convert the sun’s heat or light energy into other forms we can use and transmit. 

While there are a variety of ways to generate solar power, the most common is through the use of photovoltaic, or PV, systems. When you see solar panels on your neighbor’s roof or at a business on your drive home, these are most likely part of solar PV systems. In fact, you've probably seen PV panels around for decades, but recent advancements have greatly improved their efficiency, electrical output and cost.

 Solar with LES

LES customers have several ways to invest in solar, including installing your own, purchasing “virtual” panels at your local community solar facility, or making a monthly donation benefiting community solar.


Buy a "virtual" solar panel

You can purchase "virtual" solar panels from LES through our Virtual Net Metering program. The program provides an equal opportunity for renters and homeowners to get into solar power. These solar panels are located in our 15,333-panel community solar array and they share the output. Purchasing virtual solar panels allows you to contribute to solar energy in our service area and receive monthly credit to lower your bill without installing solar panels on your property.

Virtual Net Metering is available to residential, general service and heating service customers. It rewards you as if panels from our community solar project actually sit on the roof of your home or business, reducing the amount of energy you purchase from LES. You’ll receive energy credits every month for the remaining life of the 20-year program, ending in 2036.

If you’re enrolled in this program and move within LES’ service territory, your virtual panels will automatically follow you to your new service address. If you move outside of LES’ service territory, the program allows you to receive a refund, generally equal to 75% of the panel’s purchase price at that time.

Each virtual half panel is a one-time fee of $285.00 or 36 fixed payments of $7.95/month.
Each virtual full panel is a one-time fee of $570.00 or 36 fixed payments of $15.90/month.

(Current-year prices shown do not include tax.)
Estimated bill savings: $15/year (residential half panel) / $30/year (residential full panel)


Donate to support community solar

You can support our community solar facility by participating in the SunShares program. SunShares is an easy and affordable way to make a donation-based contribution to LES' solar facility and promote renewable energy in our community. All customers are eligible to participate in the program. To join, enroll in SunShares to have the donation automatically added to your bill.

Each SunShare is just $1/month. Three shares (a $3 minimum) are required.
(Current-year prices shown do not include tax.)


solar array

Install your own solar

Interested in harnessing the sun to power your home or business? Investing in solar is a big decision, and LES is here to help make the process as simple as possible.

Consider your investment by reviewing this Solar Buyer's Checklist
Contractors eligible to provide LES solar incentives
More about customer-owned generation (see net metering)

Which solar power is right for you?

Get an idea of the energy potential installing your own solar has for you with this solar calculator. Check out the video below for a walkthrough on using the PVWatts® tool to calculate solar potential, or download this how-to guide.

Installing your own solar not looking like the best route? Don’t forget, there’s always the option to purchase virtual panels at our community solar facility or make a monthly donation to support community solar.

Check out LES' community solar project

The LES community solar facility was the first utility-scale solar installation in Nebraska and is still one of the largest solar arrays in the region. Located at Northwest 75th and West Holdrege streets, it generates 5 megawattsDC of solar energy and uses 15,333 solar panels. That produces enough energy to power 900 typical homes in Lincoln. Since the launch, we’ve been able to introduce two community solar programs you can participate in (SunShares and Virtual Net Metering) to harness the sun’s power.

Video: How to build a community solar facility (time lapse)

See today's hour-by-hour solar generation, past output, environmental benefits and more

LES community solar project


Solar power at your fingertips

A portion of the savings from paperless billing helps bring solar power to ground level. You can find LES' solar-powered benches and charging stations throughout the community:

BenchesLES solar-charging bench

  • Holmes Lake near the playground.
  • Pioneers Park near the Nature Center.
  • Densmore Park near the playground.
  • Mahoney Dog Run.
  • Lincoln Children's Zoo.

Charging stations

  • Haymarket Park for summer games.
  • Various events in Lincoln.


Solar contractors/installers

Are you a solar contractor/installer interested in participating in LES' Solar Trade Ally Network? Participation is required to offer projects that qualify for LES’ one-time capacity payment incentive.

Participants will be included on a publicly available Solar Trade Ally Network list signifying they have been educated about the utility’s rates, incentives and other related information and have acknowledged that such information will be shared with customers in an accurate manner.

Inclusion as a participant does not constitute an endorsement by LES.

If you're interested in participating in LES' 2022 Solar Trade Ally Network:

View this orientation video for general information and terms and conditions

Review and submit this participant agreement

Questions? Email or call 402.475.4211.

Solar on roof
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