SunShare, one of the first and fastest growing Community Solar companies in the United States, has announced that its Colorado portfolio is fully sold out. The Community Solar portfolio represents 8.2 Megawatts (MWac) across five counties along Colorado’s Front Range. The five ground-mounted solar garden sites comprise the largest recorded Community Solar portfolio in the nation.
A concept pioneered by the state of Colorado in 2010, Community Solar Gardens are large arrays of solar panels that produce power for a local community. Similar to a community-supported agriculture membership, participants pay a fee to subscribe to the solar garden and in return receive credits on their monthly utility bills. Currently, 25 states have at least one Community Solar Garden.
Notable customers of SunShare’s latest solar gardens include regional leaders in Colorado such as the City of Denver, the City of Westminster, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and the historic city of Manitou Springs – the first city in the nation to offset all of its electricity with energy from a community solar garden. Additionally, over 650 residential, governmental, commercial, and low-income clients have also signed up to participate.
“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. “As far as Denver is concerned, this is a win-win situation.”
Customers in all solar gardens will start seeing credits as early as next month.
“Our goal is to respond to increasing consumer demand for choice and flexibility in how we think about and use energy,” said David Amster-Olszewski, CEO and Founder of SunShare. “Now, leadership from hundreds of customers choosing Community Solar is driving adoption of renewable energy in communities across the nation.”
At full capacity, the combined 8.2 megawatt (MWac) Community Solar portfolio is expected to generate approximately 350 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy over 20 years, which is enough to power 1,600 typical U.S. homes and avoid more than 240,000 tons of carbon dioxide and is equivalent to removing more than 50,000 vehicles from the road. The Community Solar gardens are serving Colorado Springs Utilities and Xcel Energy customers.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.