REMC Unveils 'Community' Solar Array

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Montgomery County-based Tipmont REMC has unveiled a solar project it says is unlike anything else in the state. Customers can purchase portions of the 240-panel "community" solar array through monthly installments on their energy bills. October 10, 2014

News Release

LINDEN, Ind. - Tipmont REMC, headquartered in Linden, Ind., and providing electric service to 26,000 locations in parts of eight Indiana counties, is the first in the state to install a Community Solar array.

The 240-panel array, just completed at its headquarters offices, was unveiled Friday, October 10, during a public open house and tours, with Tipmont representatives explaining how the cooperative's members can purchase energy generated by the 410-watt solar panels.

"Today is quite a milestone. Tipmont REMC is at the forefront, taking a leading role in 21st century energy breakthroughs," said Tipmont CEO Ron Holcomb.

"This is a unique, sustainable energy program for Tipmont members," he said. "Tipmont members who would like to further the use of solar power can participate by signing up to purchase electricity generated by one or more of these panels. And we’ll operate and maintain the array for them."

Under the program, participating Tipmont members can pay the $1,250 price per panel in monthly installments over one, two or three years. Members who sign up are purchasing the generated energy for a period of 25 years.

They also will receive a credit on their monthly electric bills, with the amount based on the energy produced by the solar panel. The credit is estimated to be about $5 per month, which would increase if rates go up.

"This is a low-cost way for our members to participate in a solar energy program without having to install their own solar panels," Holcomb said. "Any member is invited to participate in this program, with panels reserved first-come, first-served. It’s especially appealing to those who might not be able to install solar panels on their property - because they lease their home or business, own property with abundant shade trees that would limit capturing the sun’s power, or have a roof that can’t support solar energy. Now, they, too, have a way to be resource-conscious."

Even before construction of the array was complete, 42 of the panels had been reserved by cooperatives members.

“We anticipate great interest and high demand as word spreads,” Holcomb said. That could lead to additional panel installations.

Tipmont members interested in learning more or signing up for the solar energy program can get information at www.tipmont.org/solar or call 800/726-3953.

Tipmont's event was one of a dozens of Cooperative Community Day programs hosted by rural electric cooperatives throughout the state to highlight the core cooperative principle, concern for community, Holcomb said.

"Investing in the communities we serve is at the forefront of everything we do," said Rick Coons, chief executive officer of the Indiana Electric Cooperatives, which coordinated the statewide effort that debuted this year. Each electric cooperative chose its own project or program.

"Indiana's Electric Cooperative Community Day provides us with the opportunity to work in tandem as we make a positive impact in our state," Coons said.

Founded in 1939 and headquartered in Linden, Tipmont REMC is a member-owned cooperative providing electric service to some 22,000 members at 26,000 locations, primarily in Tippecanoe, Fountain, and Montgomery counties as well as portions of Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clinton and White counties.

Tipmont is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing high standards of service and dedicated to serving members with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.

Source: Tipmont REMC