December 2012 - Two new community solar arrays have come online in Colorado, both developed by Carbondale-based Clean Energy Collective. The first is Colorado Springs's third community solar installation and is capable of producing 500 kilowatts (kW). Customers of the community solar array are able to purchase panels for $565 each, with a minimum of two panels. The other two community solar systems in Colorado Springs were developed by SunShare, a Colorado Springs-based company.
The second community solar array to recently come online in Colorado is a 1.1 megawatt facility in the San Miguel Power Association, Inc. service territory in southwestern Colorado. Customers are able to purchase panels within the system for $705 each and as few as one panel.
In total, Clean Energy Collective is now operating or constructing 14 community solar developments totaling more than 5,300 kW of solar capacity.
News Release -
United States' Largest Community-Owned Solar System Comes Online in Colorado
News Release -
Third Community Solar Garden Blossoms in Springs
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