By Jared Patton | January 22, 2020
One of the things near the top of the list of reasons I love being part of the SEDC family is that we do work that directly impacts the quality of life of the millions of people who live in the communities we’re able to serve.
Co-ops stepped up when people in certain areas lacked reliable access to electricity. Now they’re stepping up to provide broadband internet. And just as the cooperatives and utilities we partner with have a long history of stepping up and getting the job done, so does SEDC. I really admire the spirit of “stepping up” to fill a collective need, especially for things people in different positions often take for granted.
With that said, I wanted to take some time to highlight another utility business that carries that spirit. Arcadia Power is a service that matches all or a percentage of your power consumption with clean energy from solar and wind projects. By “virtually” connecting renewable energy conscious consumers with renewable energy producers via RECs at no additional cost to the end user, Arcadia is helping to grow the renewable energy sector without requiring expensive investments in new equipment from its members. Arcadia just released their 2019 Impact Report, which lays out how they added 527,463,831 kwh of clean energy to the national grid.
As an Arcadia member myself, I was happy to see these numbers and contribute to the movement towards 100% renewable energy. Here in Georgia where SEDC is headquartered, solar power is a rapidly growing enterprise, but most of that growth is in utility scale enterprises. For residential solar projects aiming to lower costs by returning power captured from solar panels to the grid, or even just powering their own properties via microgrids, opportunities for expansion are much slimmer. Across the country, as varying state and local governments impose a patchwork of barriers that limit entry into the rush for renewables, it’s refreshing to see an entity like Arcadia that can work within those frameworks while still providing clean energy for those that want it across multiple physical and political barriers. This is just one small way an individual without direct access to renewable energy can still move the needle away from reliance on inefficient fossil fuels.
As time moves on, more companies will find themselves motivated to explore nontraditional options when redesigning aging infrastructure against new environmental challenges. Hopefully those companies are able to take a page out of Arcadia’s book when it comes to low cost incentives for green energy.