According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the service organization for America’s electric cooperatives, ratepayers that belong to cooperatives are voting to add solar to the mix, and it seems like this type of utility is growing community solar in a big way.
There are around 900 co-ops in 47 states serving around 42 million customers, according to NRECA. Co-ops are established in rural areas that don’t have an investor-owned or municipal utility nearby to supply electric power. A number of them are based in rural Texas and Alaska.
“We are not accountable to shareholders or local governments. We are accountable to our members,” said Tracy Warren, senior communications manager for NRECA. This freedom opens them up to experiment with new technologies much more quickly than the more bureaucratic, public or investor-owned utilities.
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