Minnesota’s First Solar Community Project Launched
Saturday, August 04, 2012

Minnesota’s First Solar Community Project Launched

Wright-Hennepin Solar Community and Clean Energy Collective Partner
to Provide Community Solar to MN Residents

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[Rockford, MN] – Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association (WH), Rockford, MN and the Clean Energy Collective (CEC), Carbondale, CO, have entered into an agreement to launch Minnesota’s first solar community. The WH Solar Community project will allow utility customers to purchase solar panels located in community arrays. The first phase will be a 40 kW pilot project, which will be located at WH’s headquarters in Rockford, Minn. Please send us an email for more information on this project.

WH is committed to providing its members with simple and affordable opportunities to utilize solar energy. Through the WH Solar Community program, members can buy and use solar panels without the hassle of having to maintain the panels themselves. WH is partnering with Clean Energy Collective, who will administer the program, with the goal to make generating solar energy an easy and affordable experience for members. WH also has a residential sized solar panel, wind turbine, and storage battery set up at their headquarters in Rockford, with the goal of educating members on electrical output from renewable energy sources. Members may view the energy produced online, or visit the facility any time.

Clean Energy Collective pioneered the community solar model for clean energy production, which allows community members to purchase solar panels located in centralized solar arrays to offset their electricity use. CEC constructs and maintains the solar array, and the local utility company agrees to acquire the power from the community arrays. Consumers receive the same tax credits and electricity discounts as they would if the panels were installed on their roofs. CEC warranties the panels for 50 years, so consumers don’t have to worry about construction, maintenance or repair.

The solar community concept allows all consumers to utilize clean renewable energy, including renters, those with poorly sighted properties and individuals of all income levels, without having to build a costly system of their own. Owners of solar community panels reap the benefits directly on their monthly electric bills through WH.

“I am excited to announce that Wright-Hennepin has a solution for our members who are interested in owning a solar system, but for various reasons are not able to at their existing home,” said Mark Vogt, President and CEO of WH. “Members may buy as few as one panel, or enough to power their entire home.”

“Wright-Hennepin is an ideal partner for community solar and we look forward to offering all of their members the opportunity to benefit from community solar ownership,” said Paul Spencer, Clean Energy Collective founder and president.

Construction will begin once the initial 40 kW has been reserved by members. Wright-Hennepin members may purchase panels for $869 and will receive monthly bill credits for the power produced by their panels. Reservations are being taken now.

Wright-Hennepin Solar Community
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Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association is a member-owned, non-profit electric utility founded in 1937. Headquartered in Rockford, Minn., Wright-Hennepin is one of the state’s largest member-owned electric utilities, distributing electricity to more than 46,000 homes, businesses and farms.

Colorado-based Clean Energy Collective is a developer of community-based renewable energy facilities and a national leader in community power generation. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through large-scale facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. The CEC’s proprietary RemoteMeterĀ® system automatically calculates monthly credits and integrates with existing utility billing systems, enabling all utility customers to easily have clean, renewable power credited directly on their monthly utility bills, without modifying their home or office. C
EC has community solar partnerships with many other utilities and is working on dozens of other community solar projects nationally and internationally.

Wright-Hennepin Solar Community
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Phone: 1-800-646-0323

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