A recent report by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is showing significant growth in the rural electric cooperatives across the United States. The growth can be attributed to lowered costs and greater infrastructure to support these projects, along with aid and partnership from the U.S. Department of Energy through SUNDA (Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration) initiative.
Since the 2013 partnership started, the initiative has grown from 30 MW installed capacity in 2013 to 868 MW installed in 2017. Additionally, in 2013 the initiative began with just 17 rural coops and now includes just under half of the 900 rural coops nationally. The installed capacity is set to cross the 1 GW threshold in 2018 or 2019 according to the report.
SUNDA has also given birth to new market segments such as community solar for low to medium income households, and military projects. The initiative also provided planning and financial toolkits to aid rural community projects to move along smoothly, along with cost sharing programs.
Now The Projects Make Sense
The most important reason for the increase in rural community renewable projects is the drop in prices over the past years. As per the NRECA report, installation costs per watt in 2014 was $4.50. The average installation costs per the report today is less than $1.50, making these projects more financially appropriate. Over this time, infrastructure was also being expanded and built to support such projects.
Funding for such projects is also much easier to find through non-profit organizations as well as fully backed financing resources such as Rural Utilities Service Loans and Rural Utility Cooperative Finance Loans. Rural Electric Community Coops can also alight with tax equity partners to take advantage of incentives that are not normally available to non-profit entities.
Dual Axis Solar Tracking in Rural Community Renewable Coops
Sun Action Trackers is proud to provided our Dual Axis Solar Trackers all over North America for projects of all sizes in all types of weather conditions. With up to a 40% increase in production compared to fixed tilt systems, our Dual Axis Solar Tracker will ensure that you are getting the most out of your project. Each tracker also features our patented Real Time Sensing which provides a host of benefits, as well as our Magnesium Alloy Coated Steel, which is 5-10 time more resistant to harsh environments compared to galvanized steel.
If you are interested in how the Sun Action Trackers PST-2AL Dual Axis Solar Tracker can add value to your rural community renewable solar project, please CONTACT US for more information.