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Allison Foster's blog

How Cooperative Power Companies Can Implement Solar Developments

For the rural parts of the United States, implementing solar arrays are not seen as a cost-effective solution for power demands. As costs of photovoltaic equipment has been decreasing steadily since the middle of 2012, the argument that rural areas can't have a renewable energy solution is seemingly more and more moot. There is a variety of ways that these sparsely populated areas can implement solar technology without upsetting the community with hiked rates.

1. Piecemeal - Solar arrays can be installed a piece at a time. An entire 1.5 gigawatt station doesn't need to be constructed immediately in order to quell some of the problems that the rural communities experience. In some areas, brownouts are so frequent that many have to buy back up batteries in order to prevent damage to computer systems. Even if the cooperative power company installed a handful of small panels at a time to alleviate some of the brownout issues, it could go a long way to improving customer service. Eventually, solar panels will drop so low that nearly everyone can afford them and those who are unhappy with his or her power company could eliminate that monthly bill all-together.

2. Billing Adjustments - Depending on the number of people within the cooperative power company's region, even the slightest of increases could help develop a solar array for the benefit of everyone. If the company was to put it to a vote from the population after delivering the benefits of the solar array, even a small one to two-percent increase in everyone's bill could begin developing a smarter and greener future for everyone. In smaller areas, saving enough money to begin construction could take a while unless the co-op company could develop a strategy to maximize funding.... read more

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