TCEC dedicates first Community Solar project in Oklahoma
Blowing dirt and wind didn’t deter TCEC’s leaders, board of trustees, local chamber representatives and community solar subscribers from arriving at the solar array for a dedication photo. TCEC had employees in a bucket above and on the ground take a couple of shots before the crowd ran inside for the remainder of the special ceremony.
When City of Guymon Mayor Kim Peterson stood to read the proclamation declaring April 26, 2016, as TCEC Community Solar Day, he began by saying the situation brought the words from a popular song to mind, ‘The sun will come out tomorrow.’
David Vail, vice mayor for the City of Hooker, also read a proclamation for Community Solar Day. The Governor’s office issued one as well.
Zac Perkins, TCEC’s chief operating officer and future CEO, thanked those early adopters in the audience who had already subscribed to TCEC Community Solar. He mentioned a partnership with Smart Energy Source where TCEC will share data from the solar array and experimental wind turbine on the property with Oklahoma State University.
Michael Henderson, president of Today’s Power, Inc., and developer of the project also made some remarks during the ceremony.
He said every solar system is different and TCEC’s is dynamic, it’s built so that it has maximum output at TCEC’s peak. That’s the reason the system does not face south for maximum sun exposure. He also said it’s one of the largest projects his company has completed.
“One of the things we’ve had an opportunity to look at is how the electricity industry is changing,” Henderson said. “You don’t have to look very far to see what’s happening in the telecommunications industry. At one point, everybody thought you had to have lines to have a telephone. Now the mobile phone does basically everything…We have to be cognizant of those same kind of approaches in the electricity industry. Will business remain the same as it is today or will distributed generation change the way we currently do business. This cooperative has shown that you have your fingers on the pulse of this changing environment with the renewable options you’re offering.”
TCEC members pay a one-time subscription fee of $340 per share to buy into Community Solar. They get a credit on their electric bill for their share of energy produced by the array. Because the credit is for a fixed price per kilowatt-hour that increases over the 25-year life of the subscription, this is a way to lock in part of the price you pay for electricity. It’s also about a ten year payback on your investment. As of April 26, 351 shares of a total 3,840 have been subscribed to from the array.
For more information on TCEC Community Solar, call 580.652.2418 or visit www.tcec.coop.
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Headquartered in Hooker, Oklahoma, Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) is a not-for-profit distribution cooperative owned and controlled by its members. TCEC is committed to improving the quality of life for its members and communities by delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric service. The cooperative serves about 23,000 meters in the Oklahoma Panhandle, southwestern Kansas, the northern border of the Texas Panhandle and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. TCEC is a Touchstone Energy cooperative. For more information, visit www.tcec.coop.