Cooperative Solar offers affordable solar energy option

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives is offering a new option for members who want to utilize renewable energy for home or business use.

Cooperative Solar began in 2017 when the cooperatives built a 60-acre solar farm in Clark County. Co-op members can pay a one-time fee of $460 per panel to license solar panels at the farm.

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For the next 25 years, members can take advantage of what renewable energy has to offer, such as getting credit on their monthly power bill for the value of energy generated by their licensed panels.

Fernie Williams, Manager of Resource and Renewable Planning at East Kentucky Power Cooperative, runs the solar farm, analyzes production data and oversees monetizing renewable energy credits.

“Many electric cooperative members are seeking affordable, convenient access to renewable energy, but many of them cannot place or do not want solar panels on their own property,” Williams said. “As not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives, we wanted to help them reach their goals.”

One member who has taken part in this solar option is Guy Huelat, who licensed 77 solar panels for his home and buildings on his Russell County property.

“The idea of someone else maintaining it was very attractive to us,” Huelat said. “I’m very happy with our experience.”

The 16 electric cooperatives that make up Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives all offer Cooperative Solar.

For more information, including detailed production data about the solar farm, and to sign up for the Cooperative Solar program, go to www.CooperativeSolar.com.