Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives serve rural areas across the state, but that doesn’t mean that your Cooperatives lag in technology or renewable energy generation. In fact, Cooperatives like Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative (PCEC) lead the way in green power in Missouri, and not just among Cooperatives: PCEC was the first power utility in the state to build a community solar array.
Making Renewable History in Missouri
When PCEC’s solar array was constructed in early 2015, it was one of the first 100 Cooperative solar arrays in America. Other Cooperatives and for-profit power companies have followed suit, also offering community solar arrays to customers and Member-Owners.
Boone County Electric Cooperative completed its first community solar array in August 2015, and in October 2016, the Missouri Public Service Commission approved Ameren Missouri’s plans to build its first community solar array in (source).
Midwest Energy News speculates that Liberty Utilities — which is merging with the Empire District Electric Co. — may also explore solar energy options as part of larger renewable energy (source).
Your Cooperatives Serving You
It’s exciting to see our state’s rural Cooperatives leading the way in solar power in Missouri, but it’s important to remember that Cooperatives like PCEC aren’t constructing solar arrays for the bragging rights. Cooperative solar is Member-Owner-owned solar, and your Cooperatives develop solar for one reason only: to serve you, our Member-Owners.
PCEC Member-Owners consistently expressed interest in community renewable energy options through Member-Owner surveys:
“When asked on three occasions in 2013 and 2014 if the coop should develop renewable energy,” said Midwest Energy News, “between 54 and 63 percent of respondents said yes (source).”
PCEC’s community solar array was built in direct response to the interests expressed by Member-Owners, but Member-Owners aren’t required to buy energy from the array. Residential and commercial Member-Owners who are interested in buying solar energy from the array have two choices: to buy the output of solar panels or to enter into a long-term lease for solar panels.
The PCEC community solar array, which was built by PCEC employees, is located with the Cooperative’s office in Kearney, and it will offset 182 tons of CO2 each year. That’s enough power for 14 Cooperative families.
About Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative
Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative (PCEC) serves more than 20,000 metered accounts and nearly 3,000 miles of energized line in Buchanan, Caldwell, Clay, Clinton, DeKalb, Platte, and Ray Counties, just north of metropolitan Kansas City, Missouri. PCEC was established in 1938 as part of the Rural Electrification Act (REA), and today PCEC is among the most progressive and fastest-growing Cooperatives in Missouri.