East-Central Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative (ECI REC) and Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) officially energized the new utility-scale solar field in Urbana on October 14. The 3,708 solar panel field is a part of CIPCO’s 5.5MW utility-scale solar project which is the largest in the state. The Urbana Solar Acres facility will generate 1,393,900 kWh of energy annually, which is enough to fully power up to 139 homes.

“ECI REC is honored to be the first leg of CIPCO’s utility-scale solar system to energize,” said CEO Steve Marlow. “As a cooperative, we’re committed to providing our members with responsible, cost-effective and reliable electricity.”

Utility-scale solar provides emission and carbon-free electricity generation for members of ECI REC and compliments CIPCO’s existing energy generation portfolio. With utility-scale solar, all members benefit from this new generation asset, not just those able to purchase a residential solar system or buy into a community solar option.

“CIPCO is committed to providing a diversified generation pool to our members which assists with providing safe, reliable and cost-effective electricity,” stated CEO Dennis Murdock. “Incorporating utility-scale solar into the mix makes sense, particularly as we continually strive to reduce emissions.”

East-Central Rural Electric Cooperative, a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative, provides electrical service to more than 8,700 residential, commercial and industrial members. The service territory spans 11 counties with 2,280 miles of electric lines.

CIPCO is Iowa’s largest cooperative energy provider serving 13 electric cooperatives and associations spanning 58 of Iowa’s 99 counties. CIPCO is a generation and transmission cooperative supplying power to its member distribution cooperatives covering a territory which stretches 300 miles diagonally across the state from the Mississippi River on the east to Shenandoah in the southwest. CIPCO supplies all power requirements for its member cooperatives, and as their power provider, CIPCO is dedicated to delivering quality, safe and reliable service at the lowest possible cost.