Category: Success Stories
Tri-County Electric Cooperative of Oklahoma teams with Today’s Power, Inc.
One-megawatt AC ten K Solar array to provide community solar project for cooperative members
Little Rock, Ark. — Aug. 12, 2015 — Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), recently reached an agreement to provide a one-megawatt AC solar array for Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) of Hooker, Okla. TCEC plans to offer its members the opportunity to purchase solar energy produced by the system through its new community solar program.
“TCEC is dedicated to providing our members with reliable electricity in a cost-effective manner,” said Jack Perkins, chief executive officer of TCEC, a 23,000 meter system. “Our board works to meet the needs of our membership both today and in the future.”
According to Michael Henderson, president of TPI, the solar project is a tenKsolar (TKS) Solar REFLECT 26 photovoltaic system. “Our solar offering provides maximum energy density and requires approximately 40 percent less space than traditional systems,” he said. TCEC’s community solar facility is projected to generate 50,473,300 kWhs over its 25-year useful life. TPI’s structure effectively provides a 30 percent discount below the installed cost.
“TPI’s solution is a relatively low capital investment system compared to other industry offerings that require higher capital level outlays that simply increase the end power cost to consumers,” Henderson said. “TPI’s solar energy solutions are a great answer for organizations searching for a reliable, affordable community, commercial and utilityscale solar energy solution.”
TCEC’s Chief Operating Officer Zac Perkins said the project will not be subsidized by members that choose not to participate, but does reflect TCEC’s commitment to the community.
“The TPI solar product will provide our members access to reasonably-priced renewable energy,” Perkins said. “Ultimately, the energy produced at the facility will be consumed by our membership resulting in savings in wholesale power fees and related costs. The end result is lower cost to our members.”
Henderson, who also serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, a Little Rock-based generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative, said “TPI’s solar program is a great tool that allows distribution cooperatives and the G&Ts to work together to provide renewable energy solutions to rural consumers. This program allows rural consumers to lock in energy prices for the next 25 years. This will be beneficial in the event that we are mandated to remove low-cost fossil fuel resources off the grid and replace them with higher cost resources. TCEC is leading the industry by offering community solar to its members.”
Today’s Power, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based utility service cooperative owned by 17 Arkansas electric distribution cooperatives. AECI provides pole line hardware sales, vendor managed inventory services, utility construction services, vegetation management services, high voltage testing and safety services, management and education. TPI is an authorized distributor and installer for TKS photovoltaic systems in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Missouri.