Many of the 1,700 electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in the U.S. are prevented from sourcing all but a small fraction of their power from local renewables by restrictive contracts with generation and transmission providers. Now, a landmark decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for Delta Montrose Electric clears the way for a co-op or municipal utility to lift those constraints and purchase more cost-competitive local power without being punished. It’s news Rocky Mountain Institute called “a clear sign that generation and transmission providers will need to work collaboratively with member co-ops toward a cleaner, more distributed energy future.” RMI points out that community-scale solar is a particularly attractive segment for municipal utilities and cooperatives. “Now that renewable energy prices rival those of wholesale power, the co-op and muni renewable electricity market is poised to explode,” says RMI.

– via PV Magazine / Christian Roselund and Greentech Media / Katherine Tweed


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