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Powerlines - July 2016

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Powerlines July 2016 | Volume 29 • Number 7 | www.powersouth.com/powerlines | info@powersouth.com Three of PowerSouth's distribution members are investing in on-site solar arrays for informational purposes, due to end-use members' growing interest in renewable energy sources — particularly solar. CHELCO and Escambia River EC (EREC) completed construction of their solar demonstration projects in June, and Central Alabama EC's (CAEC) solar project is set for installation this month. "The projects were intended to demonstrate to end-users the pros and cons of residentially sized solar," said Matt Diamond, Operations Staff Engineer and Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer. PowerSouth owns and operates the solar demonstration projects, but participating members pay for construction, operation and maintenance costs through a calculated energy rate. CHELCO Located at CHELCO's Operations Center in DeFuniak Springs, Fla., the 20-panel, ground- mount 5.3-kilowatt (kW) solar array has an expected annual output of 8,100 kilowatt- hours (kWh). The co-op is also considering a community solar project allowing members to purchase a share of the output of a large solar array. CHELCO hopes to announce plans for the project by 2017. "CHELCO is supportive of renewable energy sources such as solar, provided it makes financial sense for our members and does not negatively impact service reliability," said CHELCO CEO Steve Rhodes. "CHELCO will continue to work hard to find affordable ways for our members to receive renewable energy." EREC The 40-panel, roof-mount solar array at EREC's headquarters in Jay, Fla., has a generating capacity of 10.6 kW and an estimated annual output of 14,600 kWh. This array is sized to demonstrate the output needed to run the average PowerSouth end-user's home — minus climate control during seasonal peaks. "We chose to do the solar demonstration project because we want to be an information source for our members," said EREC General Manager and CEO Clay Campbell. "We're not opposed to renewables such as solar, but we want our members to be able to make informed decisions based on actual facts in regard to the cost and benefits of solar installation." CAEC CAEC plans to install a 6.3-kW solar array at its headquarters in Prattville, Ala. "Having a solar demonstration in our back yard, with data that all members can view, should express our desire to provide accurate information to help our members make informed decisions," said CAEC President and CEO Tom Stackhouse. "It will aid us in our goal of being the solar expert for our area." g (Top) CHELCO's ground-mount array at its Operations Center on Highway 331. (Above) EREC's roof-mount array at its headquarters in Jay, Fla. Solar projects serve as educational tools for members

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