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Cooperatives build solar system

Northern Plains Electric and Dakota Valley Electric cooperatives have built a solar energy system in Carrington.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house to celebrate the system is set for 1 p.m. June 22 at the Northern Plains Electric Cooperative office in Carrington.

The 6.56-kilowatt system is similar in size to what an average farm or small business would install if it chose to install a solar energy system, said Ashten Breker, system engineer. That’s enough electricity to power 19 60-watt incandescent light bulbs all day and all night for 12 months.

Used primarily as a research project, the co-op wants to learn how much the system will cost to maintain, how reliable it is and what sort of return members would see on their investment. With this information, Northern Plains and Dakota Valley can help members determine if these systems make economic sense at their homes, businesses and farms.

Along with Northern Plains and Dakota Valley, other co-ops in North Dakota have solar energy systems. Northern Plains and Dakota Valley, however, are pioneering solar as a research project to benefit members.

For more information, call (800) 882-2500.