As part of a business development initiative, Community Electric Cooperative (CEC), based in Windsor, Virginia, recently rebranded its wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary as RECORETM, and is in the process of expanding the company’s approach to energy solutions, project investment and utility asset management.
This includes the potential for increased participation in the Solar Cooperative Community Project (sCOOP) program—an innovative financing structure developed by CFC and the National Renewables Cooperative Organization. The sCOOP program is designed to minimize the cost of solar-generated power for electric cooperatives by enabling tax-exempt cooperatives to benefit from federal tax incentives for renewable energy projects.
“Our objectives for this project included our participation as an investor in green technology, supporting the co-op family by joining with a fellow electric cooperative to create a win-win scenario, and investing in a project that provides a substantive and viable return.”
Steve Harmon, RECORE and CEC CEO
Formerly Tidewater Energy Services, RECORE has supplied standby emergency power solutions to government and commercial facilities in the mid-Atlantic region since 2001. As RECORE, the company’s focus has expanded to include system resiliency through microgrids and energy intelligence, as well as utility-scale engineering and asset management services. Its geographic reach has also grown as it looks to be a new presence in the national energy and utility marketplace.
Iowa Co-op Benefits from RECORE Mission
RECORE recently participated in a sCOOP program project with Franklin Rural Electric Cooperative, Hampton, Iowa, in which CFC provided bridge financing. (See “New Financing Mechanism Makes Solar a ‘Win-Win-Win’ for Franklin REC,” Solutions News Bulletin, January 27, 2020.)
Through this project, Franklin REC receives power from three newly built solar arrays under a power purchase agreement that reflects the financial benefits of federal renewable energy tax credits. The project is owned by a partnership made up of a subsidiary of Franklin REC and a taxable investor that can use the tax incentives—in this case, RECORE.
“Our objectives for this project included our participation as an investor in green technology, supporting the co-op family by joining with a fellow electric cooperative to create a win-win scenario, and investing in a project that provides a substantive and viable return,” explains Steve Harmon, CEO of RECORE and CEC.
Harmon adds that working with CFC was a benefit. “Working with CFC is a tremendous advantage for RECORE because of their extensive expertise in understanding the operational and financial needs of electric cooperatives. We could not have a more valuable partner to navigate the process of adopting, deploying, and integrating renewable technology into CEC’s and RECORE’s business models.”
Business Strategy Benefits Co-op Members
The consumers of CEC also benefit from the new approach. “A financially strong subsidiary translates into a financially stronger cooperative. As RECORE continues to grow, the future of the cooperative becomes even brighter,” Harmon relates. “As the technology and energy landscape evolves, our members will no doubt benefit from our proactive and innovative solutions.”
According RECORE Chief Growth Officer Daryl Walls, the company is currently surveying the market for other, similar investment opportunities. “We’re evaluating several other investment tax credit opportunities and looking for projects that are a good fit with our business strategy,” he says.
Contact your CFC RVP for additional information on the sCOOP program or for questions on other renewable energy financing options.