Community Solar Garden . – DENVER, COLORADO -(Solar Thermal Magazine )-
A historic moment for the rapidly growing Community Solar market, Colorado energy company SunShare has sold out the nation’s largest privately developed and subscribed Community Solar Garden – before construction begins on the 10,000+ solar panel installation this fall. A Solar Garden of this size can power over 500 average Colorado homes.
Colorado Springs Utilities awarded the Community Solar contract to SunShare under a public bidding process in November 2013. This project is the largest privately developed and subscribed Community Solar project in the US.
Customers include leaders in Colorado such as the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak Library District, Security Water District and the City of Manitou Springs. SunShare’s customers now number over 400 residential governmental and commercial clients. SunShare has already begun putting customers on a waitlist for its next Colorado Springs project, which it hopes to build early next year.
SunShare has over 13 megawatts of Community Solar Gardens under development across Colorado’s Front Range and is expanding to several new states later this year. The company’s team is currently taking reservations for Solar Gardens in Jefferson, Denver, Arapahoe and Adams counties.
Community Solar has experienced extraordinary growth over the past few years. Pioneered in Colorado with the 2010 Community Solar Gardens Act, Community Solar brings solar energy to the masses.
“I first heard about SunShare’s Community Solar program three years ago. Because I was living in a rental property, rooftop solar just wasn’t an option for me,” said Alicia Archibald, one of the first individuals to sign up for the program.
Community Solar was the only way I could go solar. When I bought a new home a year later, the panels transferred to my new home’s utility account. The flexibility of this program was groundbreaking!
Over 75% of homeowners, businesses, and governmental organizations do not have suitable rooftops for solar panels because of trees, shading from other buildings, and other physical restrictions. Unlike other forms of solar energy like rooftop panels or large utility scale systems built for large energy companies, Community Solar allows all customers to simply choose to produce their own clean, locally generated solar energy without restriction.
“We view Community Solar as a good renewable energy choice, and this is our second time participating in the program,” said Linda Kogan of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. “Our contract with SunShare has helped us achieve over half of our goal of 20% renewable energy by 2020.”
16 states from New York to Georgia are working on legislation to follow Colorado’s leadership in the space. SunShare built the first privately owned Community Solar Gardens with a municipal utility in the country with Colorado Springs Utilities in 2011.
“We are excited about the broad public support we have seen for our Community Solar programs,” said David Amster-Olszewski, president and founder of SunShare.
The leadership that these institutions and our hundreds of participating individuals and families are taking will drive adoption of solar energy in coming years.
SunShare has over 13 megawatts of Community Solar Gardens under development across Colorado’s Front Range and is expanding to several new states later this year. The company’s team is currently taking reservations for commercial, governmental and residential customers in in the Denver Metro area.
For more information on the Community Solar Garden program, visit www.mysunshare.com.