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MOVING FORWARD: PEC board approves new, expansive renewable energy plan

(Reposted from pec.coop)

Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors adopted at its March meeting a strategy for the development of several new renewable energy programs.

“This resolution is a key step in responding to our members’ desire for reliable and renewable energy solutions,” said PEC Board President Dr. Patrick Cox. “PEC management will launch a series of cost-effective efforts that will ensure stable, secure and responsible power for our growing cooperative.”

“Our objective is to further the Cooperative’s ability to serve its individual member’s needs in the area of renewable energy,” said PEC Chief Executive Officer John Hewa. “We are working on the development of cost-effective programs that will be available to both our residential and commercial members.

“With the beneficial pricing trends of photovoltaics,” Hewa added, “the Co-op grid is becoming more distributed, and the cooperative business model has an opportunity to evolve to support member interest in distributed generation.

news_pec-solar-home“We hear from members who are renewable enthusiasts, and we also hear from members who are concerned about subsidy. Our programs are being designed to satisfy both groups.”

The newly adopted strategy directs Cooperative management to begin development of a broad range of programs to help PEC reach its renewable goal and also respond to member requests:

  • The implementation of a distributed renewable generation program, including community solar projects available for member subscription and the development of commercial-scale arrays
  • On-bill financing to provide convenient access to low-interest rates to residential and commercial members deploying distributed generation systems
  • Encouragement by PEC of its primary power supplier, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), to continue to diversify its energy portfolio by providing cost-beneficial wholesale wind and solar resources

“We’re on the threshold of history at PEC,” said District 6 Director Larry Landaker just before the vote took place. “Passage of this landmark resolution moves PEC significantly forward in the attainment of its stated and reaffirmed renewable energy goals.”

PEC management will begin working immediately to develop unique programs for Board consideration. In pursuing the Cooperative’s renewable goal, management is seeking cost-effective methods and analyzing how recent, more competitive pricing in both wind and solar production could be passed along to members. PEC is pursuing its renewable energy goals in balance with other corporate goals, which include maintaining outstanding reliability and member service and becoming the lowest cost cooperative that purchases power from the LCRA.

“The PEC Board’s resolution to implement a variety of solar energy projects and on-bill financing is a clear sign that the Co-op has heard its members and understands the changing landscape of energy generation,” said Lucy Stolzenburg, Executive Director of the Texas Solar Energy Society.