Middle Tennessee EMC, Murfreesboro, Tenn., strives to make life better for its members through its focus on serving not only as their energy provider, but as their trusted energy advisor as well.

“One of the ways we do that is through our Cooperative Solar Program,” said Chris Jones, the cooperative’s president and CEO. “It’s truly made solar simple.

“We’re going to continue to look for more ways to bring renewable energy to our members and focus on being good stewards of our environment,” he said.

MTEMC’s Cooperative Solar Program provides access to solar for environmentally conscious members who might otherwise be excluded from owning and installing their own solar generation. The cooperative operates a solar farm consisting of more than 3,000 ground-mounted, fixed panels on four acres of land in nearby College Grove, TN. The farm is about 1 megawatt, can power some 125 homes per year and stands on flood-plain property unsuitable for conventional construction.

Jones said MTEMC’s Cooperative Solar Program is quite “member-friendly,” as members may join or leave at any time. Participating members get access to one or two blocks of panels each month at $20 per block, and receive a monthly credit on their bill for the production of their blocks. Enrollment is subject to block availability.

“Participation has been at more than 90 percent for the past year,” Jones noted.

MTEMC tracks production of its solar system via onsite meters and online web monitoring; officials with the cooperative are alerted if any equipment isn’t working properly, but the system has required very little maintenance thus far.