Energy Co-op Brings Power to the People (142)

pm142_550What if a community owned its electric utility cooperatively, rather than paying a for-profit company? Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative could be a model. Energy Services manager Jessica Nelson describes how this locally owned, democratically governed non-profit serves the good of the community. Besides lower rates, customers benefit from incentives to conserve electricity, install geothermal heating/cooling systems, and solar panels (photovoltaics). The coop’s dream? To not only distribute power but to generate it — through a wind turbine project. Episode 142. []

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  1. Since wind power is unpredictable and unreliable, perhaps a small solution would be to use wind turbines to do more direct labor, such as to pump water up into water towers, thus reducing the amount of electicity needed for pumping. Then you could extract a small amount of constant electricity with a small water turbine when the water exits the water tower.

  2. Stuart M. says:

    Great story on that rural electric cooperative! I also enjoyed the news report at the end.

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