Technology is creating new opportunities to incorporate alternative energy resources and new energy services in ways that provide environmental benefits and make economic sense. From harnessing the power of the sun to driving electric, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are delivering exciting energy solutions to their members and communities.
Community solar offers a low-cost, low-risk way for cooperative members to benefit from solar technology. This collective solar effort provides a more affordable alternative to the traditional process of purchasing permanently installed solar equipment, and the shared solar model allows members to work together for the common good.
Eleven North Carolina electric cooperatives have installed 18 community solar farms totaling 2 megawatts (2,050 kilowatts) on sites well suited for generating solar power.
In most cases, co-op members purchase energy rights on solar panels in return for a credit on their monthly electric bill.
Contact your local cooperative for more information about the community solar options available in your area.
Energy storage, or capturing energy from a source and storing it for use when its needed, is bringing cooperatives new opportunities to make their systems more resilient and efficient, which therefore has the potential to bring cost savings to cooperative members.
Batteries are an important part of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ two microgrid projects. Their application in these living laboratories has led to the discovery of future uses for the technology. Cooperatives are currently considering ways to incorporate energy storage within their infrastructure and with member partners.
Electric Vehicle Charging
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are working together to create a network of electric vehicle charging stations across our state. With 31 stations in place at 23 locations across the state, drivers can feel confident in their ability to travel to and within rural communities, not just urban centers.
We envision a future where this electric cooperative charging network brings new commerce opportunities to rural communities and facilitates the important industry of tourism within our state.
Some cooperatives also provide other incentives to drive electric, like rebates and special rates. Connect with your co-op to discover what information or special programs they have available.