Today’s consumers are more interested than ever in renewable energy, especially solar. While solar is dependent on the weather and not a perfect generating source — only producing when the sun shines — it is a renewable, carbon-free and zero-emission energy source that adds diversity to Baldwin EMC’s power supply mix.

That’s why Baldwin EMC, with cooperation from our wholesale power supplier, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, has been monitoring the cost of solar over the last several years, gathering information and keeping an eye on advancements in solar technology.

“Our members have long expressed a desire to see us integrate more renewable energy into our power generation mix, and we’ve always sought to be responsive to that,” says Baldwin EMC Chief Executive Officer Karen Moore. “But before we made any huge strides, we had to do our homework. Thankfully, utility-scale solar costs have become more competitive, so we are now able to confidently participate in a utility-scale solar project.”

What is Utility-Scale Solar?
Unlike rooftop solar, utility-scale solar delivers power generated from utility-owned solar facilities directly into the electric grid. This makes it possible for consumers to enjoy the benefits of solar energy without installing and maintaining solar panels at their homes.

The Wing Solar Project, an 80 megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar project launched by PowerSouth, will soon add solar into the mix of reliable, affordable energy we deliver to you. The facility is scheduled to come online in 2022 and will be built in Covington County, Alabama. For some perspective, 80 megawatts is enough to power about 13,000 homes annually. That’s roughly equivalent to the entire population of Gulf Shores, Ala.

Diversity Equals Reliability
“Reliability is still just as important to us, and for our region, the best way to ensure reliability is to balance our generation resources,” says Steve Irvin, Baldwin EMC’s vice president of engineering. “Solar energy is intermittent and dependent on the weather, so we can’t depend on it for 100 percent of our generation needs.” Traditional generating resources, like natural gas, will make it possible to provide reliable energy to Baldwin EMC members around the clock.

Input for Members
Baldwin EMC can also help members make informed decisions about whether solar is right for their energy needs. There are many factors to consider before making this investment, and Baldwin EMC’s trained energy advisors can help members weigh the risks and rewards. “We’ve done our homework to determine when and how an investment in solar energy would be wise for us, and we
encourage our members to do the same,” Irvin says.

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If you have questions about joining Baldwin EMC, or any other comments or concerns, we’re here for you! Reach out today, and let us help.

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