According to a news article posted on FreeState Electric's website, cooperative solar is being driven by member interest.
Increased interest among consumers as well as declining costs, electric co-ops across the country are finding a multitude of ways to bring the benefits of solar to their members.
New data paints a striking picture: America’s electric cooperatives expect to double their current solar capacity by the end of 2017, adding more than 480 MW of solar this year for a total capacity of 872 MW nationwide, according to figures from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).
In a recent nationwide survey, electric co-ops were asked why they offer or support solar options. More than two-thirds of respondents said they were motivated by a desire to increase consumer-member satisfaction and a majority cited member demand. Increased affordability also played a role, with nearly half of respondents citing the decline in the cost of renewable energy as a factor in enhancing their solar energy program. The survey results clearly show co-ops are listening to their members and they care about costs. As consumer-owned utilities, electric co-ops view solar as a consumer resource.
In an effort to educate and demonstrate how simple it is to go solar on a residential level, FreeState electric cooperatives and members from the Today's Power team installed a 4 KW Solar Kit in front of their Mclouth office in Kansas!
"No matter what their size, circumstances or geographic location, all electric co-ops have one thing in common when it comes to solar: they want to help their members make energy choices that are right for them." (Source)