Missouri Cooperative Takes the Plunge Into Solar

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Missouri co-op to be first in state to launch community solar

Midwest Energy News, February 3, 2015

Rural electric cooperatives in states across the Midwest have been investing in community solar in recent years and now, Missouri is joining their ranks.

A co-op that serves about 18,000 customers just north of Kansas City is starting construction on a 100-kilowatt system, and will be the first electric co-op in Missouri to offer community solar to its members.

The Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative decided to take the plunge after three surveys of members in recent years showed consistently robust support for renewable energy, and for solar in particular, according to the coop’s communications director, Cheryl Barnes.

“We were surprised there was such a strong interest in renewables,” she said.

When asked on three occasions in 2013 and 2014 if the coop should develop renewable energy, between 54 and 63 percent of respondents said yes. When asked if they would pay more for their electricity in order to reduce their carbon footprint, those answering “yes” ranged from 31 to 50 percent.

In one survey, 67 percent of respondents said they would support a community solar project.

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