Renewable energy interconnects members, YEC and power providers.
A new year finds us recharging our commitment to renewable energy at YEC. It’s something we can all feel good about.
YEC members who purchase renewable Green Power can be especially proud: Clover Middle School, we recently learned, may become our second local Green Power Solar School in 2013, joining Springfield Middle School. Statewide, Green Power purchases have helped fund almost two dozen Solar Schools in cooperative-served areas.
Like Springfield, Clover Middle will receive a two-kilowatt solar power system that will provide hands-on learning opportunities. Students will study a special renewable energy curriculum that meets S.C. science standards. These dynamic lessons empower our youth and energize our future.
It’s all-natural interconnectivity. State-owned Santee Cooper, the ultimate source of much of the power that independent co-ops like YEC distribute to members, has built an impressive Green Power generating portfolio. It now includes six landfill generating stations, four solar arrays and one wind turbine. The landfill stations harness naturally occurring methane from biodegrading waste as a fuel, powering more than 30 megawatts of renewable energy. Green Power supporters, you built that!
Seventy S.C. homeowners, including 21 YEC members, currently participate in a solar thermal demonstration project. In 2011, their homes were retrofitted with energy-efficient solar water-heating technologies as part of a pilot project aimed at helping co-op members determine the costs and benefits of residential solar hot-water systems.
Central Electric Power Cooperative, power-supply aggregator for YEC and 19 other S.C. co-ops, is still collecting information for this project.
Our November/December magazine highlighted how Central is collaborating with the City Center Partnership in Columbia lending its all-electric Nissan Leaf for trial use in a shuttle program to test the reliability and cost savings of electric vehicles.
Since 2008, YEC has been studying electric vehicle technology through research and testing and has corroborated with Duke Energy on their plans and data collection. YEC installed a Level 2 charging station where electric-car drivers can charge up, free of charge. And, we didn’t stop there: YEC is in the process of developing an overall electric vehicle plan to include beta sites for in-home chargers and special electric rates to encourage vehicle charging on non-peak times. After all, they help lower power costs for our entire membership.
Mutual benefits are what co-ops are all about. That’s why you’ll find a whole new section of our website focusing on alternative forms of energy and renewables.
Electric co-ops support the use of a wide range of fuels for our electric power, reducing costs and keeping rates low. Today, a “fifth fuel” joins coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewables—energy efficiency. That is, when we all conserve energy, we won’t need to produce as much.
YEC helps members use energy wisely. At YorkElectric.net, our Energy Savings programs and tips feature prominently. And take a look at that new renewables section, won’t you? Learn how you can help yourself, future generations and our environment, here and now.
Thanks and more Green Power to you in 2013!