The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, the trade association representing 20 Palmetto State electric co-ops, announced Monday a bold initiative to develop community solar networks. Construction of the networks, which would generate as much as 5-million watts of solar energy statewide, gets started later this year.
Community solar networks are akin to a community garden. Since the space, resources and maintenance costs are shared in a community solar network, they are less expensive than rooftop solar. Co-op members in areas with community solar networks would have the option to buy their power from a carbon-free resource.
Keeping the fourth cooperative principle of autonomy and independence in mind, the trade association said each of its electric co-ops would determine whether the plan is a good fit for their membership. Some 1.3 million South Carolinians receive power from a co-op.
“Community solar is the sweet spot between large, utility-scale installations and rooftop solar. Community solar allows consumer-members an easier way to access clean energy and gives our co-ops a chance to see if the technology can deliver power consistently at a competitive price.” — Robert Hochstetler, president and CEO of Central Electric Power Cooperative
The announcement received thorough coverage in the Moultrie News and other news outlets. To read the story and find out more information about the plan, please click here.