Published on July 7th, 2015 | by Glenn Meyers1
Two Denver Community Solar Gardens Will Power 16 City-Owned Locations
July 7th, 2015 by Glenn Meyers
SunShare has announced that 400 kilowatts of solar electricity from two of its Denver Community Solar Gardens will soon be used to power 16 city-owned locations.
A concept pioneered by the state of Colorado in 2010, Community Solar allows customers who either can’t or don’t want to put solar panels on their homes or properties to buy solar energy from a solar array located elsewhere in the community.
Solar energy programs work well in Denver. The Mile High City is listed as one of America’s sunniest cities, tallying over 300 days of sunshine annually, no doubt one of the reasons to play home to SunShare as well.
According to SunShare press information, the Denver facilities that use Community Solar’s electricity will remain connected to utility Xcel Energy’s grid. However, Denver will see credits from Community Solar on its electric bills for specific premises.
By switching to Community Solar, the city is estimated to eventually save about $6 million over 20 years.
“Participating in SunShare’s Community Solar Gardens enables us to save money by locking in electricity rates for the next 20 years while also promoting clean, renewable energy and supporting small local businesses like SunShare,” said Mayor Michael Hancock in a press announcement. “As far as Denver is concerned, this is a win-win situation.”
A leader in championing renewable energy, Colorado was the first state in the nation to pass Community Solar legislation. Denver is this state’s largest city.
As part of its 2020 Sustainability Goals, the Denver has committed to doubling the production of renewable energy associated with city facilities. “This partnership with SunShare not only demonstrates the efficacy and affordability of this technology, but it also moves us one step closer to achieving the ambitious energy and climate goals we have laid out for ourselves,” said Jerry Tinianow, Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
“SunShare is thrilled to power the great city we call home,” says J.W. Postal, senior vice president of SunShare. “We are so proud to help Denver achieve its sustainability goals.”
Players in the Community Solar program include NRG Renew, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy. It is partnering with SunShare to build 8.2 Megawatts (MWac) of Community Solar projects in the Denver Metro area, including 1 MWac of solar gardens in Denver County. Construction on the Denver County Solar Gardens is complete, and the gardens are distributing energy directly into Xcel Energy’s grid.
SunShare also sells its Community Solar program to Denver Metro residents.