Residential solar power production

According to Kit Carson CEO Luis Reyes, the solar panels will flow excess energy into the grid and will “demonstrate that you can integrate solar into a larger network.” File photo.

I sympathize with Paul Kunkel's frustration (letter of May 27) that Kit Carson Electric Co-op is changing the rules to make household solar electric production less desirable. He should have been alerted that the goal posts were being moved, but the public focus has been exclusively on KCEC's big solar projects. Indeed, KCEC has criticized the nearly 450 individual solar producers in the county on the alleged grounds that regular KCEC customers are "subsidizing" us. This negative propaganda ignores important facts: We invested our own money believing in KCEC's solar sustainability plans and continue to contribute our share to it every day.

Instead of supporting individual investment, KCEC has increased the restrictions on individual solar generation in order to cap residential production. The aim is to centralize production, distribution and economic returns in the co-op.

Moreover, since economic incentives are directed away from smaller residential projects, jobs and investment in local solar installers have declined and will continue to decline. They will not be able to compete for large solar projects built and financed primarily from outside the community.

Furthermore, achieving "100 percent daytime solar" will not lead to reductions in energy costs to Taos households which have only grown in recent years. The reason why is that any savings will be needed to finance the capital costs of the big projects and repay the interest on the loans.

I believe KC should reconsider its increased reliance on big, expensive, centralized generation projects and return to partnering with the community to achieve a fossil-free energy future.

Stan Riveles has lived in Des Montes for 10 years and produced electricity for seven.

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(1) comment

John Stutsman

I have a tendency to agree with the author. I am willing to have KCEC put a solar array on top of my building 1200 sq ft in exchange for providing an interchange for my use and they can have all the excess generated.

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