(ARLINGTON, VA.) Electric cooperatives have doubled their owned and purchased renewable energy capacity since 2009, according to information released today by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Co-ops’ aggregated total capacity has jumped from 2.9 GW in 2009 to 5.9 GW in 2014. This capacity includes power generated from wind, solar, small hydro, biomass, landfill gas and geothermal installations. In addition, cooperatives purchased nearly 10 GW of renewable hydropower from federal facilities.
“The numbers say it all: Cooperatives are committed to a diverse energy portfolio that includes an array of renewable energy resources,” said NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson. “Some credit for this increase goes to the National Renewable Cooperative Organization (NRCO), which enables cooperatives across the country to access cost-effective renewable resources. This is great example of ‘cooperation among cooperatives.’”
NRECA’s updated interactive map breaks out the data by state and by energy source, including a new tab for community solar projects.
- Wind energy comprises 80 percent of the cooperatives’ renewable capacity (excluding federal hydro).
- Co-ops own 1.1 GW of renewable energy generation and have long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for another 4.8 GW.
- Including federal hydropower, co-ops own or purchase more than 10 percent of U.S. renewable capacity.
- Currently, 95 percent of NRECA’s distribution members (794 out of 838) offer renewable energy options to 40 million Americans.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.