So, just how green are we?
*Originally published in June 2019 "SWRE Power Source" Newsletter
There’s no shortage of media coverage regarding green energy, renewable resources and sustainable practices in the world today. With all the press coverage surrounding “The Green New Deal”, that some in Washington are promoting, you might have asked yourself, ‘just how green are we?’ Well, you might be surprised to learn we are much greener than many in D.C. would have you believe.
The sixth cooperative principle is cooperation among cooperatives. A great demonstration of this is SWRE’s membership in and cooperation with our generation and transmission (G&T) co-op, Western Farmers Electric (WFEC).
As you’ll see on the sidebar of the page to your right WFEC is well ahead of the game as far as it relates to renewables. Through our cooperative efforts with WFEC we have made great strides to make sure we provide responsible energy sources and lead with best practices.
In 2009 there were two wind sites generating power for WFEC. Today there are thirteen. WFEC has also added solar in this time frame, which has rapidly shifted their energy portfolio structure towards renewable energy. In fact, in the last 10 years, their energy supply has increased from 19% renewables to up to 70% at times. That is a 51% increase in a very short amount of time.
Our relationship with Western Farmers has led to many truly innovative efforts towards renewable energy in the state of Oklahoma. Not only was WFEC the first in the state to receive power generation from a windfarm, but it also continues to lead our region with progressive sustainable practices.
Through programs like Community Solar, SWRE is able to offer our members an opportunity to participate directly in renewable energy efforts. For just a fraction of the cost required to install solar on your own, our members are able to purchase “shares” in our community solar fields which are located north of Frederick, Oklahoma and also in Vernon, Texas.
I share this with you to show what your electric cooperative is doing to address the increasing concerns surrounding renewable energy resources. We take seriously the responsibility of using the latest technology and innovation available to meet you, our members/owner’s needs and concerns. You can trust, our focus will always be on safe, reliable, and affordable energy… and yes, sustainable resources as well.