The Cooperative Advantage - August 2020 CCL CEO Article
By Jim Herron, MVEA CEO
It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of wide-spread residential and commercial solar energy was considered a concept for the far distant future. Electricity generated from the sun was expensive, so not many people used it. But today, the demand for solar power is spreading across the country, pushed by improved technology and declining costs. In short, the future is here.
In a state that boasts 300 days of sunshine, it is no surprise that Colorado is a solar power leader. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Colorado’s electricity from renewable sources has more than doubled since 2010 to 25% of net generation in 2019, led by increased wind and solar power. To what extent has solar power flipped the switch on popular demand? Energy experts with the Solar Energy Industries Association tout the 2020s as the “Solar+ Decade.”
The popularity of solar power is not just at the national or state level. Here at Mountain View Electric Association, Inc., we have seen a significant increase in solar net meter accounts throughout our service territory. In the last two years, our net meter accounts have almost doubled from 700 to nearly 1,400 accounts. In 2019, we assisted more than 300 members in transitioning to solar power in their home or business through our net metering program and completed 425 engineering screens through our interconnection process. With over 200 engineering screens completed through June, and six more months to go in the year, we anticipate continued growth within our solar net meter program through 2020.
The increase in demand has also brought an increase in the number of solar installation companies in our area canvassing neighborhoods hoping for a sale. Recently, we have had an uptick in the number of calls received from members who are concerned about sales pitches that make it sound like the solar company is “with” MVEA or has some preferential relationship with MVEA.
While we work with MVEA members in making the solar switch, we do not have preferred vendors or send sales teams out to canvas neighborhoods. Our net meter program is driven by member demand, and we work with the companies that members choose to do business with.
If you have questions about going solar, please contact MVEA directly or visit our Interconnection page. We have a talented team of MVEA employees who work with members and solar companies to navigate the process of transitioning to solar power within MVEA’s service territory. We are here to help co-op members make sure that going solar is right for their unique energy needs.
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