Community solar pioneer Clean Energy Collective (CEC) announced this month that the second community-owned solar array in the Holy Cross Energy (HCE) territory is fully sold. Residential, commercial and agricultural electricity customers served by Holy Cross Energy have purchased all of the 3,575 panels in the 858 kW Garfield County Airport Community Solar Array located at the Garfield County Regional Airport in Rifle. Planning for a third facility is underway to satisfy continued demand for community solar in western Colorado.
“Back in 2010 we were very excited to be a part of this emerging renewable model and see how it could support our broader carbon reduction strategy, and clearly it has,” said Holy Cross CEO Del Worley.
Clean energy is important to our members, and community solar has made it accessible to more residential and commercial members than ever before. We look forward to expanding the program with CEC and the development of the third array.
In 2010, CEC began working with the forward-thinking HCE cooperative utility that serves 55,000 consumers in Eagle, Pitkin, Garfield, Mesa and Gunnison counties, to introduce the country’s first community-owned solar farm, a small 86 kW pilot facility in El Jebel, which sold out before construction began. This success lead CEC to then build the Garfield County Airport Community Solar Array, a facility 10 times as large. Once Holy Cross members understood how solar ownership in a community array worked, interest grew quickly. CEC has since spread its community solar solution to seven states and 18 utilities.
“We are extremely thankful to our partner Holy Cross Energy for continuing to execute on its commitment to clean energies and collaborating with us on this enterprise – community-owned solar as the nation knows it today would not exist without Holy Cross Energy’s willingness to foster this program with CEC nearly 5 years ago,” says Paul Spencer, CEC founder and president.
The community has shown a growing desire for smart solar solutions, and we look forward to the next phase.
About Clean Energy Collective
Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is the nation’s leading developer of community- community solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through large-scale facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. Since establishing the first community-owned solar garden in the country in 2010 near El Jebel, Colorado, CEC has built or has under development more than 40 community solar projects with 18 utility partners across seven states, representing 26 MW of community solar capacity.
About Holy Cross Energy
Holy Cross Energy is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric distribution cooperative with its headquarters in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Primarily serving Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin and portions of Gunnison and Mesa counties, Holy Cross employs over 150 people and provides electricity to more than 55,000 consumer- member meters. For more information, please visit www.holycross.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HolyCrossEnergy.