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SOLAR DAILY
Wright-Hennepin Launches Minnesota's First Solar Community Project
by Staff Writers
Rockford MN (SPX) Aug 14, 2012


The solar community concept allows all consumers to utilize clean renewable energy, including renters, those with poorly sighted properties and individuals of all income levels, without having to build a costly system of their own. Owners of solar community panels reap the benefits directly on their monthly electric bills through WH.

Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association (WH), Rockford, MN and the Clean Energy Collective (CEC), Carbondale, CO, have entered into an agreement to launch Minnesota's first solar community. The WH Solar Community project will allow utility customers to purchase solar panels located in community arrays. The first phase will be a 40 kW pilot project, which will be located at WH's headquarters in Rockford, Minn.

WH is committed to providing its members with simple and affordable opportunities to utilize solar energy. Through the WH Solar Community program, members can buy and use solar panels without the hassle of having to maintain the panels themselves. WH is partnering with Clean Energy Collective, who will administer the program, with the goal to make generating solar energy an easy and affordable experience for members.

WH also has a residential sized solar panel, wind turbine, and storage battery set up at their headquarters in Rockford, with the goal of educating members on electrical output from renewable energy sources. Members may view the energy produced online, or visit the facility any time.

Clean Energy Collective pioneered the community solar model for clean energy production, which allows community members to purchase solar panels located in centralized solar arrays to offset their electricity use. CEC constructs and maintains the solar array, and the local utility company agrees to acquire the power from the community arrays.

Consumers receive the same tax credits and electricity discounts as they would if the panels were installed on their roofs. CEC warranties the panels for 50 years, so consumers don't have to worry about construction, maintenance or repair.

The solar community concept allows all consumers to utilize clean renewable energy, including renters, those with poorly sighted properties and individuals of all income levels, without having to build a costly system of their own. Owners of solar community panels reap the benefits directly on their monthly electric bills through WH.

"I am excited to announce that Wright-Hennepin has a solution for our members who are interested in owning a solar system, but for various reasons are not able to at their existing home," said Mark Vogt, President and CEO of WH. "Members may buy as few as one panel, or enough to power their entire home."

"Wright-Hennepin is an ideal partner for community solar and we look forward to offering all of their members the opportunity to benefit from community solar ownership," said Paul Spencer, Clean Energy Collective founder and president.

Construction will begin once the initial 40 kW has been reserved by members. Wright-Hennepin members may purchase panels for $869 and will receive monthly bill credits for the power produced by their panels. Reservations are being taken now.

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SOLAR DAILY
University of Michigan Team Wins Record-Breaking 2012 American Solar Challenge
Ann Arbor MI (SPX) Aug 14, 2012
Despite being challenged by bad weather conditions along the way, the University of Michigan Solar Car Team won the 2012 American Solar Challenge with their car Quantum for a fourth consecutive American title, while breaking a national record for margin of victory. The eight-day, biennial 1,650-mile competition for solar-powered vehicles started July 14 in Rochester, N.Y., and ended July 21 in S ... read more


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