Small-scale solar energy across Co-op Nation
Member-owned electric cooperatives have nearly 240 megawatts of solar capacity online or on the drawing board across the U.S.
Not-for-profit electric co-ops develop solar for one reason only: to serve their members. Solar energy installations are cropping up quickly and are expected to continue.
Some co-ops have invested in local, small-scale facilities that not only contribute to reducing carbon emissions that otherwise would come from fossil-fueled conventional power plants, but also offer communities the opportunity to see solar-electric plants up close. Another popular form of cooperative solar power allows members to directly buy into a solar electric installation. Members of Pee Dee EMC in Wadesboro, for example, can “buy” a solar panel on a solar energy facility nearby and earn credits on their electric bills.
Nationwide, cooperatives are developing solar in 34 states in regions of the country where this technology had been written off as unprofitable. Co-ops are partnering with farmers and ranchers, industrial members, local governments, schools, military bases and sister co-ops.