URBANA – East-Central Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative (ECI REC) is part of Central Iowa Power Cooperative’s (CIPCO) utility-scale solar project, the largest such project in the state. The Urbana Solar Acres facility will generate 1,133,800 kWh of energy as a part of CIPCO’s 5.5MW solar project. Once complete, the Urbana Solar Acres generation facility will contain 3,024 solar panels and generate enough electricity to power up to 113 homes. In late 2015, CIPCO initiated an RFP for the development of utility-scale solar facilities to be located at several member cooperative sites in Iowa. The multi-site solar installation is the first phase in CIPCO’s long-term plan to incorporate solar as an additional emissions and carbon-free resource within its generation assets.
“ECI REC is committed to providing, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly power to our members,” stated CEO Steve Marlow. “Adding utility-scale solar into the generation mix supports this overall goal.”
Utility-scale solar provides reliable, clean electricity generation for members of ECI REC and complements CIPCO’s existing renewable energy generation portfolio. The development and installation costs for utility-scale systems are significantly below those of residential-scale solar and provide benefits to all members within the system. Members of all income levels will be benefiting from this project. The addition of utility-scale solar increases ECI REC support of emissions and carbon-free generation resources.
“CIPCO is committed to providing environmentally friendly sources of energy to our members across the state,” said CEO Dennis Murdock. “Over half of the energy generated by CIPCO is emissions and carbon-free, and the addition of solar resources continues our commitment to providing a well-balanced generation portfolio.”
CIPCO selected Azimuth Energy LLC of St. Louis, MO to install the photovoltaic utility-scale solar project. Azimuth Energy LLC is an engineering, construction and development-support service company focused on renewable energy and energy efficient projects.
East-Central Rural Electric Cooperative, a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative, provides electrical service to more than 8,700 residential, commercial and industrial members. The service territory spans 11 counties with 2,280 miles of electric lines.
CIPCO is Iowa’s largest cooperative energy provider serving 13 electric cooperatives and associations spanning 58 of Iowa’s 99 counties. CIPCO is a generation and transmission cooperative supplying power to its member distribution cooperatives covering a territory which stretches 300 miles diagonally across the state from the Mississippi River on the east to Shenandoah in the southwest. CIPCO supplies all power requirements for its member cooperatives, and as their power provider, CIPCO is dedicated to delivering quality, safe and reliable service at the lowest possible cost.