The Northern Indiana Solar and EV Charger cooperative has selected Nappanee-based Solar Energy Systems for a solar panel installation project. The co-op says SES will help its membership install panels in an effort to get up and running before the end of net metering in 2022.

Net metering allows homeowners who use solar energy to receive a credit on their electric bill for the electricity they send back to the grid at the same rate that they purchase electricity from their utility. The process will no longer be available to new solar owners beginning July 1 of next year.

SES was selected by the co-op’s 61 members through a bidding process led by Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Solar United Neighbors and Solarize Indiana.

“The business generated by the co-op will help to boost the local economy as it recovers from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dan Robinson, the northern Indiana organizer for SUN. “Co-op members will help contribute to Indiana’s economic recovery, take control of their energy production and ensure that they receive full retail rate net metering benefits before the mechanism expires next year.”

The co-op serves members in St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall and Kosciusko counties. A timeline for the beginning of installation was not provided.

The partners of the co-op include the city of South Bend and its Office of Sustainability, the city of Goshen and the Rieth Center, the Elkhart Environmental Center, the Michiana Electric Vehicle Network, The Center at Donaldson, and the Michiana Area Council of Governments.