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As interest in distributed energy from renewable resources mounts, Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) continues working to increase its participation and be a leader in sustainable initiatives. The cooperative is progressing its studies to investigate the best practices for power from renewable sources, including leading the way on the regulatory and legislative fronts.

“We’re working hard to find ways to make the use of solar power acceptable to all parties involved,” Vice President of Engineering and Operations Greg Rogers said. “A long-term equitable solution to issues related to distributed generation must be found and now seems to be the time.” Rogers points out that SVEC follows all applicable regulatory and legal requirements related to the incorporation of distributed resource facilities on the cooperative’s systems. He said, “As we see, more and more, distributed systems are popping up in the areas surrounding SVEC’s service territory. While we have a policy of not weighing in on the merits of each installation, we will work with any parties of interest wishing to properly interconnect to our system.”

Rogers continued, “We’ve taken a number of steps to prepare for a potential increase in solar use, and definitely answer more queries from our member-owners, including an increase in net energy metering. It remains important that our member-owners contact us if they are considering net metering, to ensure a safe interconnection.  SVEC has also re-formulated an open position within the cooperative, now an energy program coordinator position, who will work to enhance the member-owners’ energy-diversified program experience.”

In October, the cooperative issued a request for proposals regarding the installation of solar energy production facilities at its new Rockingham Complex. For more information, please click here.

This summer, SVEC’s Board of Directors adopted a strategic plan that included increasing the cooperative’s efforts with solar and renewable energy sources as a priority. The cooperative also participates in the Rubin Group, a professionally-mediated group of stakeholders from throughout the Commonwealth representing utility, solar, environmental, and consumer interests, working towards a consensus on developing solar policy.

“This is an interesting time for us moving forward as a cooperative,” Rogers said. “We’ve served our member-owners for 82 years, at first bringing lights to those in rural areas, and now looking to the future incorporating renewable power to help brighten the way.”