Posted by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine
By the end of 2017, the total solar energy capacity of America’s electric cooperatives will be five times what it was two years ago, according to data released by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). This year, co-ops are on pace to add 480 MW of solar, which would bring their total capacity to 873 MW. This more than quadruples the 180 MW reached in 2015 and represents a twenty-fold increase over the 37 MW capacity in 2010. In addition, NRECA says that over the last two years, cooperatives have expanded their solar footprint from 34 states to 44 states. Click here to continue reading.
Photo: Sheep graze at the site of one of Vernon Electric Cooperative’s solar arrays in Wisconsin. Credit: Vernon Electric Cooperative
By Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News
Sheep graze at the site of one of Wisconsin-based Vernon Electric Cooperative’s solar arrays. Photo by Vernon Electric Cooperative
In Wisconsin, where state regulators and utilities have been perceived as cool to renewable energy, rural cooperatives are making major investments in solar power. According to solar installers and experts, co-ops, which aren’t subject to regulation by the state’s Public Service Commission, are being more responsive to their customers’ interest in solar . . . “It’s really impressive to see all over the country how cooperatives are embracing solar and finding new ways to implement it,” added Andy Olsen, with the Environmental Law & Policy Center.
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ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING / VIEWING
Rural electric co-ops, traditional bastions of coal, are getting into solar, by David Roberts, Vox
Environmental Law & Policy Center’s Mission Statement – YouTube Video