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Renewable Energy

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Our Cooperative's Bright Spot: Community Solar

A community solar array, sometimes also referred to as shared solar or a solar garden, is one that is shared by several grid-connected subscribers.  This type of program allows any co-op member-owner the ability to subscribe and realize the benefits of solar without the hassle or investment of installing their own solar panels.

HCREC has taken advantage of available programs with our power suppliers, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative, to provide HCREC member-owners with a renewable energy source.  With solar energy being a topic of discussion nationally and globally, we felt the time was right for the cooperative to join in the ranks of other utilities who are investing in environmentally responsible generation.

The cooperative thoroughly researched the community solar concept before implementation.  Staff toured other cooperatives with solar array set-ups and researched other utilities via on-line information and phone calls.  Our findings were promoted via the co-op’s monthly newsletter, website, and direct mail.  We also informed our membership of our venture at our annual meeting in April.  Our community solar array project was promoted at the local Applefest event in Woodbine, held in late September, followed by an informative membership meeting held at the headquarters on the evening of September 29th.  The cooperative boardroom over-flowed with interested members, validating our decision in pursuing this venture.  Members in attendance interacted with a variety of well-thought questions throughout the two-hour meeting.

HCREC has made an investment in community solar that will benefit all HCREC member-owners.  This program will benefit those members who choose to financially participate in this opportunity.  There are many benefits of our participation program versus privately-owned systems.

Participants can reduce their monthly bill and hedge against future rate increases.  They have no added property taxes, inspections, or insurance costs and they can keep their load control rate.  There is no upkeep or modifications to their property.  This program is MAINTENANCE FREE for participants!