Wabash Valley, co-ops dedicate new arrays to launch Co-op Solar

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Co-op Solar array dedication in Paris, Ill.

Group photo of the solar array ribbon cutting in Paris, Ill.

New energy sources are greeting Midwesterners turning on their morning lights.

This fall, Wabash Valley Power Association (WVPA) celebrated several ribbon cuttings for solar arrays constructed this year: Sept. 14 in Peru, Ind., at Miami-Cass REMC; Sept. 20 with Citizens Electric Corp. in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., and Sept. 27 at EnerStar Electric Cooperative in Paris, Ill. The new sites join established solar arrays as part of Co-op Solar, a new community solar program available to retail members of participating WVPA cooperatives. The program has the capacity to produce up to 1.7 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Any unsold shares of solar energy go into Wabash Valley Power’s power supply.

“We are excited to partner with our member cooperatives to create Co-op Solar,” said Andrew Horstman, load response manager for Wabash Valley Power. “Community solar programs open up solar energy participation to people who may be interested but unable to install and maintain solar panels where they live.”

The solar energy adds to WVPA’s increasingly diverse energy portfolio, which includes natural gas, landfill gas, nuclear power, coal, wind and even manure from cattle farms in northern Indiana, as among resources generating the energy for more than 310,000 families, farms and organizations in the Midwest.*

Solar array tour in Peru, Ind.

Andrew Horstman, load response manager for WVPA, leads a tour of the solar array in Peru, Ind.

“Our most important priorities are to keep our members’ rates low while maintaining reliable service,” said Lee Wilmes, executive vice president of risk and resource portfolio for Wabash Valley Power. “By adding a new, renewable resource to our portfolio and placing arrays in diverse locations to maximize sunlight, we believe that solar energy helps us fulfill those priorities to benefit everyone.”

More information about Co-op Solar, including a list of participating cooperatives, can be found at PowerMoves.com/solar.

*Wabash Valley Power supports renewable energy by owning solar arrays, landfill gas generation and purchasing the output from wind farms and biogas generators. Wabash Valley Power sells, separately, the environmental attributes associated with this generation to its members and third parties and, therefore, does not claim this generation as renewable within our supply portfolio.