THE BRIGHT STUFF — AT THE RIGHT TIME

MAKING SOLAR ENERGY more accessible for all our members, Palmetto Electric Cooperative was excited to dedicate the area’s first community solar farm adjacent to our New River office in Hardeeville at a March 31 event.

We actually have two community farms, including another one at our Ridgeland office. Construction for both began in December 2016 and was completed in March. Each site is a 120kW (kilowatt) solar array and already producing electricity.

This is the right project at the right time for Palmetto Electric. Community solar is a great option for many of our members. It’s affordable. It’s safe. And it’s hassle-free.

Community or “shared” solar, means multiple people get electricity from a large solar array, offering a convenient option for consumers who want a part of their monthly power to come from the carbon-free resource.

Palmetto Electric began selling shares last December, of the solar farm’s generating capacity on a first- come, first-served basis. Pricing includes a $75 non-refundable enrollment charge and a monthly fee of $13 per share. Subscribing members will receive a monthly credit of 10 cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour) for their share of the solar energy production. The 240 shares sold out in four days.

With this model, the co-op takes care of the hard parts – the construction, maintenance and upkeep – and members who want the benefits of solar power can have it. They get those benefits without the upfront cost, worries or headaches that come with installing a system of their own.

We’re thrilled that our Community Solar program is off to such a great start. It’s the dawn of a bright new era for our cooperative.

We were pleased that state Sen. Tom Davis (center) and state Rep. Jeff Bradley (right), among other dignitaries, could join us for the Community Solar dedication on March 31.

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