The Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative (GVEC) held a wire-cutting ceremony for its new SunHub™ Generation Station on December 5, 2017. It went online in mid-November, and is GVEC’s first renewable generation asset and community solar project.
GVEC members, Chambers of Commerce and business leaders, and county officials attended the celebration held at the SunHub facility located on Hwy 90A between Seguin and Gonzales. The program included five guest speakers: GVEC General Manager and CEO Darren Schauer, GVEC Board President Lewis Borgfeld, Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce President Kendy Gravitt, Brian Whitlatch with AEP Onsite Partners LLC., and Andrew Dahlen with SoCore Energy. Following the wire-cutting ceremony, guests were invited to get a bird’s eye view of the solar facility via an aerial lift.
“This has been an exciting project for the Cooperative and was spurred by members’ growing interest in solar energy. We first began offering rebates for renewable technologies in 2010. In 2012, we began selling solar panel systems through GVEC Home to ensure our members had access to a good product and reliable information,” says GVEC General Manager and CEO Darren Schauer. “SunHub is the next step—it provides an alternative, no-strings-attached solution for a significant number of consumers who want to support local, renewable energy, but don’t want to invest in a solar panel system of their own.”
The two-megawatt facility, located on 16 acres on Alternate Highway 90 between Seguin and Gonzales, consists of approximately 6,500 solar panels which are expected to deliver more than 4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean, local energy per year. When construction began in July 2017, it was one of only a handful of distribution-scale solar projects underway in Texas. The facility was built by SoCore Energy, the General Contractor for AEP Onsite Partners LLC.
“The SunHub Generation Station is an important step into a future where renewable energy will play a critical role in meeting our nation’s power needs affordably and responsibly, especially as technology improves and costs go down,” says GVEC Board President Lewis Borgfeld. “GVEC has always been forward thinking and building this community solar project is one more milestone in our nearly 80-year journey of meeting our members’ needs.”
The SunHub program works like a yearly subscription. GVEC members are able to purchase from one to five 100kWh blocks of solar energy—up to 500kWh per month at a rate that is locked in for up to a year. Member participation is optional and can be stopped or started at any time. In addition, there is no large upfront investment, no long-term lease or contract, no penalty fees and no long-term commitment.