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By Indiana Reed
Special to The SUN
Members of La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) who install renewable energy systems (up to 10 kilowatts) can receive, for systems installed in 2014, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) of $350 per kW from LPEA.
Renewable generation systems covered by LPEA Board of Directors Policy 359, which defines Renewable Generation and Environmental Attributes, include solar photovoltaic, wind and hydropower generating facilities. To qualify, systems must also be net metered, inspected and approved by LPEA.
The LPEA Board of Directors voted to incentivize local installation of net metered, renewable generation by increasing the $300 per kW REC payment from LPEA. LPEA recoups these dollars from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which purchases the environmental attributes from these systems from LPEA.
The extra $50 per kW will be granted from LPEA’s Local Renewable Generation Fund, to which members have the option to contribute in support of local renewable generation. In previous years, this fund has helped finance solar panels on the middle schools in La Plata and Archuleta counties.
“The amount that Tri-State has been able to pay our members for the RECs has been steadily dropping over the years, due to the market for RECs declining,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO, who praised Tri-State for offering to purchase the renewable attributes when most other markets in the country have disappeared. “The LPEA Board has a commitment to more local, distributed generation, so increasing the amount per kW for the RECs is hoped to encourage more LPEA members to look into installing renewable systems.”
Residential or commercial, grid-tied installations located within the LPEA service territory are all eligible for the REC payments.
LPEA has already in 2014 received paperwork for more than 20 new net metered, solar installations within its service territory. Last year, 95 systems were installed, bringing the total to 475 completed net metered solar systems in La Plata and Archuleta counties.
The complete LPEA Board of Directors Policy 359 is available at www.lpea.coop. For further information, contact LPEA at 247-5786.