PEC to bring solar generation to multiple sites across Hill Country

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Solar panels
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Pedernales Electric Cooperative will soon begin development of multiple distributed solar generation sites across its service territory. When completed, up to 15 megawatts (MW) of solar power will be generated, allowing the Cooperative to produce power during peak times and offset high power market prices.

The solar project will consist of a number of five- to seven-acre sites that each will produce up to 998 kW of power. Development and construction will begin soon by RES Distributed, a wholly owned subsidiary of Renewable Energy Systems (RES). RES will also oversee operation of the facilities, the first of which should go online later this year.

“PEC is excited to work with RES for the development of our solar projects,” said Ingmar Sterzing, PEC’s Vice President of Power Supply and Energy Services. “Once completed, these installations will provide a diverse, cost-beneficial power supply for PEC’s member-owners.”

Following the results of its Integrated Resource Plan developed in 2015, PEC is pursuing solar projects which have low long-term operating costs. The plan takes into account member input and the economies associated with distributed generation.

This project, while being developed as a cost-efficient addition to PEC’s power generation mix, could lead to the introduction of community solar in which members could subscribe to the systems. Community solar would give members the opportunity to subscribe to a share of the solar project and use their share to meet their own energy needs.

The concept of community solar is not new to co-ops,” said Dr. Peter Muhoro, Director of Energy Research and Strategies. “This business model is based on member ownership, and we believe that community solar solutions are the next step for PEC and other cooperatives. We are looking forward to offering this and other new products and services to our members.”

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