June 2011 - Holy Cross Energy, working with the Clean Energy Collective, has developed a second community solar installation. The project is an 858 kilowatt (kW) solar array located in Rifle, Colorado. The array is expected to produce 1.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year. Participants pay an upfront cost of $3.15/watt ($3,150/kW) and receive a credit on their bill each month at a rate of 11.0¢/kWh. Clean Energy Collective has also developed a PeakSavings Program, which enables non-profit organizations and Homeowner Associations to participate in the community solar program. The first project by Holy Cross Energy and the Clean Energy Collective was an 80-kW system developed in June 2010.
Seattle City Light has launched a new Community Solar project. The solar panels total 24 kW and will double as roofs for three picnic shelters at a local park. The panels are expected to produce 24,000 kWh/year. The Community Solar project will allow up to 500 people to buy portions of output for $600 per share. Participants will receive credit for the amount of kWh that their share produced. The credit will be equal to Seattle City Light's Small General Service Rate, currently about 7.0¢/kWh. Participants will also receive Production Incentive Credits from the State of Washington for the number of kWh generated by their share. The State incentive offers up to an additional $1.08/kWh and $54/year per unit.
News Release - Community Solar Project makes Renewable Energy Available to All
Contact: Aaron Pickus, 206-684-4000
July 2010 - Holy Cross Energy (Colorado) broke ground on an 80 kW solar array in El Jebel, Colorado. Holy Cross's residential and commercial customers can purchase shares (watts) of the solar array upfront at a cost of $3.15 per watt ($3,150 per kilowatt). Community owners will then receive a credit on their bill each month at a rate of $0.11 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The kWh production owners are credited with is based on the actual production by the number of how many watts each member owns. Because operation and maintenance costs are included in the upfront cost, owners will receive the monthly benefits for a term of 50 years. The Carbondale, Colorado-based Clean Energy Collective originated, developed and is managing the program with Sunsense Solar Electric managing the construction of the array.
A number of community solar programs have been developed recently, particularly in the Northwest. Community solar programs allow customers to purchase a share of a solar system, and receive the benefits of the energy that is produced by their share. Ashland, Oregon, Ellensburg, Washington, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), California, St. George, Utah, and Bainbridge Island, Washington all have community solar programs ranging in total size from 5 kW (Bainbridge Island) to 1 MW (SMUD). Florida Keys Electric Coop also offers a Simple Solar Program.
Additional information - Community-Owned Solar Garden Launches in Roaring Fork Valley
Additional information - The Northwest Community Solar Guide (PDF 4.8 MB) Download Adobe Reader
March 2006 - Aspen Skiing Company (ASC), operator of four ski mountains and two hotels in Colorado, announced that it is purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset 100% percent of the company's electricity use. The purchase, which totals 21 million kWh annually, is the largest in the history of the U.S. ski industry. The wind energy certificates are being supplied by Community Energy, Inc. and supplement ASC's existing wind purchases from Holy Cross Energy, which account for 5% of the company's electricity use.
News Release - Aspen Skiing Company Makes Largest Purchase of Wind Energy Certificates in the U.S. Ski Industry
December 2002 - Holy Cross Energy, an electric cooperative serving parts of Vail, Aspen, and surrounding areas in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado, has launched a new green power option supplied from locally sited, small-scale renewable energy generating sources, such as small hydro and photovoltaics.
Under the Local Renewable Energy Pool program, residential and commercial customers can purchase green power in blocks of 75 kWh for $2.50, or a premium of 3.3¢/kWh. Holy Cross uses the program revenues to pay the above-market costs of the renewable resources. Currently, the program is supplied from two 25-kWp small-hydro generators.
Holy Cross also offers a wind power option, which is supplied from Colorado-based wind projects and sold to customers at a premium of 2.5¢/kWh. More than 2,300 customers, or about 5% of the utility's customer base, are participating in the wind energy program.
Holy Cross Contact: Bob Gardner (970) 945-5491
November 1997 - Holy Cross Electric Association has garnered subscriptions from 850 residential and commercial customers for a total of 1800, 100-kWh blocks of wind power; enough to cover the first megawatt of wind power the association will purchase from Public Service Company of Colorado. Holy Cross reports that it will begin marketing a second 750-kW block of wind power early next year and an additional 1 MW next summer.
April 1997 - Holy Cross Electric Association, which serves part of the City of Aspen, Colorado, and surrounding areas, started marketing a wind program in late February 1997. Holy Cross is a wholesale customer of Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) and will purchase wind power from PSCo directly. By April 1, 600 customers had signed up for almost 900 blocks; the goal is to sell 1800 blocks by June 1. The Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) is helping the utility recruit customers.
Holy Cross Electric Association Contact: Bob Gardner (970) 945-5491
CORE Contact: Randy Udall (970) 544-9808