- Associated Press - Sunday, May 29, 2016

CARRINGTON, N.D. (AP) - Two electric cooperatives have teamed up to construct a system that generates solar power and offers a look at the potential of the type of energy source in central North Dakota.

The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1UgQcwV ) reports the $14,000 system is set up in Carrington and has spent a year online. Northern Plains Electric Cooperative and Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative collaborated on the project, which is a size similar to what might go on a house.

“We set it up so we could show the members a real-life solar project,” Northern Plains systems engineer Ashten Breker said.

There’s little solar power generated in the state, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the system’s first year, 8.7 megawatt hours were generated by it.

Last year, some components of the system were damaged by strong winds. Several $12 struts and three or four $65 reflector panels needed replacement, Breker said.

“Our goal is to learn about these advantages and disadvantages on behalf of our members,” said Katie Ryan-Anderson, Northern Plains manager of member communications. “That way, our members can know what to expect before investing in solar.”

Several members have systems that generate solar power, but Breker said that since the start of the cooperative’s project, members haven’t constructed any new systems. A lot of calls are taken by Breker from people who have interest in options.

Breker said the cooperative’s solar power system will go on indefinitely so people can assess if the energy source could fit well with their businesses or homes.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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