SEPA Doubles Utility Membership in First Quarter

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Unprecedented 2011 Growth Reflects Expanding Marketplace for Solar

The diversity, in terms of geographical location and market conditions across these new members demonstrates how adaptable and widespread solar power is becoming.

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) announced today unprecedented first-quarter growth in its utility membership for 2011. So far this year, five major utility groups have joined SEPA increasing its membership by more than 100 percent. SEPA’s utility membership now represents more than 95 percent of the nation’s annual installed solar capacity and 47 percent of all U.S. electric customers.

This increase in membership reflects growth in the larger solar industry. As more utilities join the organization, SEPA’s mission to help utilities make smart solar decisions can reach more utility customers and increase understanding of solar power as a sound investment.

“The diversity, in terms of geographical location and market conditions across these new members demonstrates how adaptable and widespread solar power is becoming,” said SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm.

SEPA’s new utility members are:

  •     American Municipal Power (AMP): AMP is owned and governed by 128 member communities serving more than 570,000 customers in six states – Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia. AMP manages and supplies competitively priced, reliable wholesale power to member municipal electric systems. The organization also provides a variety of services for its members including power supply planning, engineering, financial, environmental, generation, legal, and other support services.
  •     City of Lake Worth, Fla.: Lake Worth is a coastal city of 37,000 residents located in Palm Beach County, Fla. The city produces its own electricity, and has begun a comprehensive sustainability initiative to address climate change and environmental issues in the community.
  •     Central Hudson Gas & Electric (CH Energy Group): Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, a subsidiary of CH Energy Group, Inc., is a regulated transmission and distribution utility serving approximately 300,000 electric and about 74,000 natural gas customers in eight counties of New York State’s Mid-Hudson River Valley, delivering electricity and natural gas in a 2,600-square-mile service territory that extends north from the suburbs of metropolitan New York City to the Capital District at Albany.
  •     Greenwood Utilities Commission: Greenwood Utilities is a water and electric municipal utility, owned by and located in the city of Greenwood, Miss. One of 23 public power companies in Mississippi, they provide power to the city and surrounding community.
  •     South Mississippi Electric Power Association: South Mississippi Electric generates, transmits and delivers electric energy through more than 1,700 miles of high-voltage transmission lines. Their 11 member systems own and maintain approximately 56,200 miles of distribution lines and provide service to more than 411,000 homes and businesses in 56 counties.
  •     Trico: Trico Electric Cooperative, Inc., is a non-profit electric cooperative located in Arizona serving more than 38,000 customers in northwest Tucson, Marana, Corona de Tucson, Sahuarita, Green Valley, Three Points and Arivaca. Formed in 1945, Trico is a Touchstone Energy® Cooperative and a member of the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative.

“We are obviously excited to welcome these new members to SEPA,” said Hamm. “As always, our utility members play an important role in helping make solar power a viable option for more customers nationwide.”

About SEPA
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is an educational non-profit organization dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar power into their energy portfolios. With more than 875 utility and solar industry members, SEPA provides unbiased utility solar market intelligence, up-to-date information about technologies and business models, and peer-to-peer interaction. From hosting national events to one-on-one counseling, SEPA helps utilities make smart solar decisions. For more information, visit http://www.solarelectricpower.org.

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