Members of Central Electric Cooperative (CEC), its community solar participants and the general public recently attended the official dedication of the co-op’s community solar project. Members of the CEC board of directors “flipped the switch,” the final step to interconnecting the 200,000-watt photovoltaic system with the cooperative’s electrical distribution system.
With that action, solar-generated electricity will begin flowing directly to CEC members for the first time, energizing the largest community solar project in Oregon.
Carbon-emission free energy will serve the annual electricity needs of approximately 18 CEC residential members. Additionally, the project will help feed the growth of solar energy, ultimately making it economically competitive with traditional energy sources. The project has the potential to grow its generating capacity to 500,000 watts, depending on the rate of increase in the project’s member participation.
During 2016, Central Electric will be promoting the project throughout Central Oregon, sharing the story of its forward-looking stance for meeting tomorrow’s energy needs. They also will be promoting the opportunity for co-op members to participate in the project’s success by acquiring subscriptions to the energy produced by the solar panels or by enrolling in the long-established Green Power program. (Learn more at www.cec.coop/communitysolar.)
Central Electric is the only utility in Oregon to take the innovative approach of community solar energy project development using two distinct but related voluntary funding programs.
(Photo above: (L-R) Tom Strand- CEC Board Chair, Dave Markham-President/CEO, Jeff Beaman-CEC Member Services Director | Photo Courtesy of Central Electric Cooperative)