August 2023 – The Power Pulse: Roanoke Cooperative’s Journey Towards Sustainable Energy

In a world where sustainability and caring for the environment are of utmost importance, Roanoke Cooperative has taken a leading role in driving change. In this month’s segment of The Power Pulse, I am thrilled to share our progress on a significant project that will revolutionize the way we produce and distribute energy.

As we eagerly await October 13, 2023, a momentous date in our company's history, we are on the verge of achieving something remarkable—the commissioning of two solar plus battery storage units. On this special day, we will come together to celebrate the realization of a vision that has been years in the making.

Our journey began a few years ago when we set out to connect with these innovative units. With unwavering determination, we sought out partnerships to strengthen our mission. As part of our broader strategy to modernize the grid and expand Distributed Energy Resource efforts, we engaged in meaningful discussions with our wholesale electricity supplier, NCEMC (North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation). Through collaboration, we discovered the potential for collective action, with NCEMC taking ownership of the two sites. This critical step ensured the smooth integration of these units and highlighted our mutual commitment to a greener future.

Preserving the environment and supporting our local community were central to our decision-making process. Working closely with our Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project, we carefully chose two sites that align with our renewable energy goals but also contribute to our land preservation efforts. A crucial aspect of this project is its positive impact on the lives of landowners in our partnering land loss program. The two selected site owners will benefit from a 30-plus year lease of their land to host these systems.

We are also thrilled to share the perspective of our partner, Ajulo Othow, founder, and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Enerwealth Solutions who led project management on behalf of Roanoke Cooperative. Reflecting on this transformative collaboration, Ajulo Othow remarked:

"Working with Roanoke Cooperative on this groundbreaking project has been an incredible privilege. Their steadfast commitment to sustainability and community empowerment has been the driving force behind this endeavor. Together, we harnessed innovative technologies and financing solutions to create a blueprint for a greener future. The commissioning of these solar plus battery storage units is not just a milestone for Roanoke Cooperative; it is a significant step towards a more sustainable and environmentally conscious tomorrow. I am honored to have been part of this remarkable journey."

Ajulo Othow's words deeply resonate with us, reflecting the collective efforts that have brought us to this point. Through this partnership, we have unlocked additional solar capacity, allowing us to work with clean energy funders. Together, we aim to provide income-qualified member-owners with community solar subscriptions, promoting widespread access to clean energy.

As October 13, 2023, approaches, our excitement knows no bounds. The commissioning ceremony will be a testament to our pursuit of sustainable energy goals and the invaluable partnerships that have made it possible. Together, we stand at the threshold of a brighter, cleaner future—a future shaped by innovation, responsibility, and a shared commitment to our community and planet.

Join us on October 13, 2023, as we birth a new era of sustainable energy. Together, we are empowering our future!

Warm regards,

Marshall Cherry

President and CEO