Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, a leading independent power producer (IPP) and provider of turnkey renewable energy solutions, and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC), a member-owned, electric distribution cooperative serving over 36,000 meters in 14 Virginia counties, are dramatically expanding the solar energy capacity of rural Central Virginia by developing two 5 MWac solar electric generating facilities along the Interstate 64 corridor. Combined, these solar installations will meet the electricity needs of approximately 1,200 local homes served by the not-for-profit. They also represent the largest solar projects dedicated to an electric distribution cooperative in the state.
The new solar facilities help diversify CVEC’s portfolio of energy sources and contribute to Virginia’s state-wide solar capacity. They also further Coronal Energy’s commitment to increasing the availability of clean, reliable, and affordable solar energy for diverse customers across North America.
The 41-acre, 5 MWac Palmer Solar Center in Troy and the 35-acre, 5 MWac Martin Solar Center in Kents Store will integrate solar-generated electricity into the power grid for the benefit of over 9,000 CVEC member owners in Fluvanna County and Goochland County, where the solar facilities are respectively located.
Energy from both facilities will be procured by CVEC via 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) that enable the utility to purchase the electricity generated by the solar facilities for the benefit of its members, while Coronal Energy continues to own and operate the facilities upon completion. Under this structure CVEC is not responsible for any of the costs required to build or maintain the facilities.
Electric cooperatives have fast stepped into a leading role for procuring solar energy as a clean, cost-effective, reliable option on behalf of their members. According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), by the end of 2017, the total solar energy capacity of America’s electric cooperatives will be five times what it was two years ago. Cost-effectively procuring this solar energy is critically important for not-for-profit, member-owned co-ops.
The projects are slated for completion in November 2017.