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What’s the buzz? Community Solar from SEC!

Ardis Staff - Thumb

I am very excited to tell you today about a new program Santee Electric Cooperative has just unveiled!

Distributed generation (DG) and renewable resources are buzzwords these days. As the name implies, DG refers to small, scattered, local sources of electric power generation - as opposed to the huge, centralized power plants to which we are accustomed. Renewable resources, if I can borrow language from my daughter Ava's sixth-grade science book, are those sources of generation that are easily replenished by natural means. Sunshine, wind and water are the most common renewables, of course.

Whether it's in an attempt to lower your power bill, to protect the environment, or to simply control your own supply of electricity, we see more and more interest in DG and renewables every day. For those of you who have installed - or want to install - some sort of generation at your own home (solar panels or a wind turbine, for example), SEC has had net metering options for you for quite some time. These rates and riders allow you to buy power from us when you need it, use your own power when you generate it, and even sell power back to us when you generate more than you need.

The unanswered questions, however, have been: "What if I cannot afford to install something like that at my house?" or "What if I just do not want a solar panel on my roof or in my yard?"

Today, I have that answer for you. We have just unveiled our first Community Solar farm on Highway 52 just outside of Kingstree in the Williamsburg Cooperative Commerce Centre. This 130-kilowatt (kW) farm allows members to purchase a share of the generation source and reap the benefits of any energy generated by their panels. We also plan to build a similar farm in Georgetown County in the near future. Depending on the level of success and member interest, we could have these all over SEC's territory. To start with, however, we have this pilot Community Solar farm for you.

If you are interested in details regarding this new program, check the information on pages 5 and 20D or just give us a call. Our friendly member service representatives will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Robert G. Ardis III

President and Chief Executive Officer


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