Washington, D.C. – OUC—The Reliable One was named the 2013 Public Power Utility of the Year by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), an educational non-profit focused on helping utilities integrate solar electric power into their energy portfolios. OUC was selected for its leadership in customer programs and innovative business models that advance the use of solar, particularly its new subscriber-supported Community Solar Farm. The award was presented October 22 during the SEPA Annual Membership and Utility Awards Luncheon in Chicago, along with awards for Investor-Owned Utility of the Year (Green Mountain Power) and Electric Cooperative Utility of the Year (Kit Carson Electric Cooperative).
“We applaud each of the winners for their commitment to integrating solar into their portfolios,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA President and CEO. “This is a pivotal year for solar power as we push the limits of the technology further than ever before and see demand for renewables rising at utilities across the country. An increasing number of American households have access to clean renewable solar electric power with the help of local utilities.”
OUC’s Community Solar Farm provides residential and small commercial customers with the opportunity to benefit from solar without making an upfront investment or maintaining a rooftop solar installation. Customers were invited to subscribe to the farm in 1 kW increments, up to a maximum of 15 kW, and the program was fully subscribed, with 39 customers, in just six days. On October 29, subscribers joined OUC and City officials to celebrate the dedication of the array, which is the first of its kind in Central Florida.
“I was happy to see the community solar farm subscribe so quickly. It’s clean, green renewable energy at an affordable price,” OUC Board President Dan Kirby said, “and it shows how important renewable energy projects like this are to our customers and our community.”
In addition, OUC’s innovative community solar farm showcases a program that can be replicated by public power utilities in all regions. Other finalists for the Public Power Utility of the Year award were American Municipal Power and City of Palo Alto.
Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to nearly 228,000 customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties. Visit OUC.com to learn more about our commitment to reliability, affordability and sustainability.
SEPA is an educational non-profit organization based in Washington dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar power into their energy portfolios. The SEPA Top 10 Utility Solar Rankings report is one of many market intelligence, utility interaction and educational services SEPA provides to its utility and solar industry members. For more information about SEPA, visit our website at www.solarelectricpower.org.