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Sun Rises on Suwannee Valley’s Cooperative Solar Program
Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative’s Cooperative Solar Program is now under way. The program is a partnership between SVEC and its wholesale power provider, Seminole Electric Cooperative.
Seminole’s new solar facility – the source of energy for the program – became operational on August 1. Located in Hardee County, Florida, the facility can produce a total output of 2.2 megawatts, which has been allocated to Seminole’s nine member cooperatives. SVEC was allocated 72 kilowatts of the solar farm’s output, divided into 144 “blocks” of 0.5 kilowatts each.
Last November, SVEC’s residential members were given the opportunity to reserve up to two blocks on a first-come first-served basis. All 144 blocks were spoken for only four hours into the sign-up period.
Beginning with their September bill, members who have subscribed to SVEC’s blocks will be charged a monthly fee and receive an offset to their electricity consumption equal to the amount of power generated by their blocks.
“Many of our members have expressed an interest in supporting solar energy,” says SVEC’s CEO Michael McWaters. “Cooperative Solar makes it possible for them to do so without the need for a sizeable up-front investment or the headaches of installing and maintaining their own solar system.”