Rural electric co-ops, traditional bastions of coal, are getting into solar

By David Roberts, Vox

Shutterstock Image

Shutterstock Image

In the US, rural areas and constituencies have typically weighed against progress on clean energy. But that may be changing. A new story out of Wisconsin illustrates that a slow, tentative shift is underway, as rural electricity consumers and the utilities that serve them take a new look at the benefits of solar power. In fact, if you squint just right, you can even glimpse a future in which rural America is at the vanguard of decarbonization. The self-reliance and local jobs enabled by renewable energy are of unique value in rural areas, and rural leaders are beginning to recognize that solar isn’t just for elitist coastal hippies any more.

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To learn more about Rural Energy For America Program (REAP) grants mentioned in the article, click here. May 2nd is the deadline for the current round of grant applications.