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Waynesville based Electric Cooperative teams with Pisgah Energy and Renewable Design Associates to power its Headquarters with renewable energy. The new solar electric system will offset over 598 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. This impact is equivalent to the annual energy usage of 75 homes or driving a 2021 Tesla Model 3 coast-to-coast 1353 times.

HEMC management and board, joined by RDA and Pisgah Energy stand in front of ground-mounted solar array.

Haywood EMC management and board are joined by team members from Pisgah Energy and RDA to ‘flip the switch’ on their new ground-mounted solar array at their Waynesville HQ.

Waynesville, NC/MAY 2022 – On Thursday May, 12th, Haywood EMC management and board members gathered to ‘flip the switch’ on a new solar array at their Waynesville based Headquarters. Haywood EMC recently partnered with Pisgah Energy and Renewable Design Associates to design, develop and install the ground-mounted array totaling 500kWac. Serving as on-site electrical generation for Haywood EMC, the renewable energy produced by the array will offset their Headquarters’ electricity usage by 89%.HEMC's Ground-Mounted Solar Array with mountains in the background.

Haywood EMC HQ now has a total of 1430 solar panels that will augment power to this facility. The system will produce approximately 843,700 kWh of renewable energy annually, offsetting over 598 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. This impact is equivalent to the annual energy usage of 75 homes or driving a 2021 Tesla Model 3 coast-to-coast 1353 times.

Haywood EMC’s Chief of Operations, Rex LaRowe, noted, “We’re excited to energize our first solar array.  This system will allow us to see the impacts of a utility scale solar installation on our distribution system while providing renewable energy to our members.  This project is part of a larger program looking at ways we can incorporate green technologies into our energy portfolio.  Haywood EMC will continue to look for ways our member-owners can become more energy efficient and be a trusted energy advisor on the new technologies as they emerge.”

Pisgah Energy was the lead designer and developer and worked in collaboration with Renewable Design Associates to provide construction services for the project. According to Evan Becka, President and Senior Project Developer at Pisgah Energy, “Haywood EMC’s commitment to clean energy is truly impressive; especially when you consider the challenges their territory’s mostly mountainous terrain presents for any large-scale solar projects. Fortunately, there was flat land available at their headquarters. This land now hosts a ground-mounted solar array that generates nearly 90% of HQ’s energy. It’s awesome!”

Renewable Design Associates installed the project utilizing Hanwha Q Cells 430W modules, Solectria inverters and APA’S dual ground screw racking system. This racking system, created specifically for challenging soil, made all the difference in getting this system built as designed.  “RDA thoroughly enjoyed building this system for an organization with such deep roots in our community. Haywood EMC and Pisgah Energy were a fantastic team to work alongside as we adapted to site constraints and supply chain issues to construct a quality product we are all extremely proud of. This system will make a meaningful positive impact for many years to come.”


Haywood EMC has been serving the rural residents of Western North Carolina with affordable, reliable, safe services, and open communications for over 80 years. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, the member-owners of Haywood EMC have a say in everything the cooperative does through a democratically elected Board of Directors. The Board of Directors represent member-owners in 8 districts across the 8 counties we serve in Western North Carolina, as well as parts of Rabun County, GA, and Oconee County, SC.

Pisgah Energy is on a mission to lead the transition of commercial, municipal, and institutional clients from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. We serve our clients using insight and expertise derived from 20 years working in the renewable energy sector. We provide comprehensive solar and energy storage design & development services for commercial, municipal, and institutional clients across the Southeast. Our team has a proven track record of developing solar and energy storage projects that are both innovative and uniquely tailored to meet the needs of each individual client.

Renewable Design Associates, LLC (RDA) provides design-build, installation, and maintenance services for commercial and industrial solar photovoltaics, electric vehicle infrastructure, and microgrid & storage systems. We pride ourselves on robust systems and an attention to detail that reduces ongoing maintenance costs and ensures reliable output. Our experience ranges from turnkey construction to public-private partnerships, and we successfully serve customers ranging from large national and multinational contractors to small businesses and non-profit organizations. We are based in Asheville, NC, and are licensed contractors in NC, SC, TN, and VA.

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