The 30-MW Cimarron photo-voltaic facility started producing power for Colorado-based Tri-State G&T Cooperative in 2010.
Photo courtesy of First Solar
ARLINGTON, VA; June 17, 2011 – In the 2010 utility solar rankings issued by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), two cooperatives, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Cooperative Association (Tri-State) and Kauai Island Utility Co-op (KIUC), made it into the top ten in two separate categories. Tri-State ranked sixth nationwide in the ranking of solar megawatts new in 2010; KIUC ranked second nationwide in the category of utilities with the highest cumulative total of solar watts-per-customer.
According to NRECA data, cooperatives nationwide own or purchase a total of more than 34 megawatts of solar power.
Tri-State purchases the output of one of the nation’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities – the “Cimarron Solar Facility,” which came online in 2010. The 30-megawatt power plant sits on a 250-acre site in Colfax County in northeastern New Mexico, within the service territory of Tri-State member system Springer Electric Cooperative. The facility is owned and operated by Southern Company (Atlanta, Ga.).
KIUC ranks second nationwide in SEPA’s ranking of cumulative solar watts-per-customer, which measures a utility’s solar portfolio over time. The Hawaiian co-op reported 100.7 solar watts per consumer-member.
SEPA also looked at penetration rates – the number of solar systems per customer – in this category, Verendrye Electric Cooperative in North Dakota ranked second nationwide. Verendrye has more than 200 small, off-grid utility-owned PV projects located at water pumping stations within its service territory.
NRECA is the national service organization for more than 900 rural electric utilities that provide electricity to approximately 42 million consumers in 47 states and sell approximately twelve percent of all electric energy sold in the United States. Most NRECA members are consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.
2010 SEPA Utilities Solar Rankings