"Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources—such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat. ... Renewable energy is energy that is generated from natural processes that are continuously replenished."
URECC believes renewable energy sources will play a big part in powering our homes, utilities, and even our vehicles in the future.
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, and solar architecture.
If a member is producing solar power, then they are considered to be a Distributed Generation Facility. There are rules and regulations regarding the generation of power (including solar) that are covered in detail in the Distributed Generation Procedures & Guidelines Manual for Members handbook. At the end of the handbook, there is an application that must be submitted for approval before beginning any project. Once the application is approved, a contract will be signed and installation can begin. Once the installation process is complete, Upshur Rural MUST be notified in order for us to inspect the connection before accessing our system.
URECC will begin construction on it's first solar field in early 2019.
A portion of the renewable energy already being
used by URECC is hydro power generated by hydro-
electric dams in Murfreesboro, Arkansas and
Hydropower is a flexible source of electricity since
stations can be ramped up and down very quickly to
adapt to changing energy demands. Hydro turbines
have a start-up time of the order of a few minutes. It
takes around 60 to 90 seconds to bring a unit from
cold start-up to full load; this is much shorter than for gas turbines or steam plants. Power generation can also be decreased quickly when there is a surplus power generation. Hence the limited capacity of hydropower units is not generally used to produce base power except for vacating the flood pool or meeting downstream needs. Instead, it serves as backup for non-hydro generators.
The major advantage of conventional hydroelectric dams with reservoirs is their ability to store water at low cost for dispatch later as high value clean electricity. The average cost of electricity from a hydro station larger than 10 megawatts is 3 to 5 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour. When used as peak power to meet demand, hydroelectricity has a higher value than base power and a much higher value compared to intermittent energy sources.
Another portion of URECC's renewable energy comes from
wind turbine farms in Oklahoma.
Wind power is the use of air flow through wind turbines to provide the mechanical power to turn electric generators. Wind power, as an alternative to burning fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, consumes no water, and uses little land. The net effects on the environment are far less problematic than those of nonrenewable power sources.
Wind farms consist of many individual wind turbines, which are connected to the electric power transmission network. Onshore wind is an inexpensive source of electric power, competitive with or in many places cheaper than coal or gas plants. Offshore wind is steadier and stronger than on land and offshore farms have less visual impact, but construction and maintenance costs are considerably higher. Small onshore wind farms can feed some energy into the grid or provide electric power to isolated off-grid locations.
Wind power gives variable power, which is very consistent from year to year but has significant variation over shorter time scales. It is therefore used in conjunction with other electric power sources to give a reliable supply. As the proportion of wind power in a region increases, a need to upgrade the grid and a lowered ability to supplant conventional production can occur. Power-management techniques such as having excess capacity, geographically distributed turbines, dispatchable sources, sufficient hydroelectric power, exporting and importing power to neighboring areas, energy storage, or reducing demand when wind production is low, can in many cases overcome these problems. Weather forecasting permits the electric-power network to be readied for the predictable variations in production that occur.