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TEC Solar Immersion Training Shines Light on Industry

October 1, 2015

Texas Electric Cooperatives hosted Medina EC directors and key staff during an all-day TEC training event Sept. 9 in San Antonio to share insight into the solar industry and its potential effects on the co-op and its members.

TEC developed the training at the request of Medina EC CEO Mark Rollans. Because of increased interest in solar, Medina EC put the training in its 2015 business plan to expand staff and directors' knowledge while preparing for possible action.

The goal was to "give them a clear understanding of what is going on inside of Texas, what is going on outside of Texas and what is going on in the industry," said Martin Bevins, TEC vice president of Communications & Member Services.

The workshop featured subject-matter experts from across the country giving an overview of the solar market. Topics included a discussion of solar power's effect on co-ops and how the decreasing cost of rooftop installations is changing member expectations.

Participants studied solar from multiple perspectives. Staff from several distribution cooperatives shared their organization's experiences with solar. South Texas EC discussed the generation and transmission cooperatives' current position on solar and the effects on Medina EC and its other member systems. Professionals from the Solar Electric Power Association discussed solar evolution, trends and the future. The program also included case studies, time for discussion and Q&A sessions.

"We accomplished our goal by increasing our overall knowledge of solar—rooftop, community, utility," Rollans said, "and how those might work with our wholesale power contract with our G&T."

To learn more about the Solar Immersion training, contact Bevins at (512) 486-6249 or mbevins@texas-ec.org.