CEC plans 'community solar project' meetings

REDMOND, Ore. - To educate its members about national and regional growth in utility-developed community solar projects and the possibility of establishing one of its own, Central Electric Cooperative today announced a slate of October informational meetings.

Members can attend any one of eight meetings that fit their schedule.

A community solar project is a single, large facility powered arrays of solar photovoltaic panels and supported by the direct participation of individuals, businesses or agencies. In CEC's case, participants must be co-op members.

"We want to explain the concept to our members and hear their ideas," said Dave Markham, CEC president and chief executive officer.

"It's estimated that 70 percent of individuals who would like to have solar panels connected to their homes can't have them because of the direction their homes face, shadows cast on rooftops by trees or nearby structures, or the cost of a system," he said.

"A centralized community solar project would let interested CEC members participate at a much more modest cost with no worries about site suitability."

The cooperative is exploring such a project in response to member feedback, the declining costs and expanding use of solar generation technologies, and the desire to become more experienced integrating solar power into system operations.

Held each day at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., the meetings are scheduled for:

--Bend: Tues., Oct. 7, CEC Service Center, 61090 S 27th St.
Wed., Oct. 15, The Environmental Center, 16 NW Kansas Ave.

--Sisters: Thu., Oct. 9, Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District HQ, 301 S Elm St.

--Redmond: Thu., Oct. 16, CEC Service Center Auditorium, 2098 N Hwy 97.

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