The Clean Energy Collective (CEC), in partnership with the City of Boulder, Boulder County and a consortium of Boulder affordable housing providers, has been awarded a contract for a 500-kilowatt roofless community solar garden through the Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards Community program.
The project was the only one awarded in Boulder County in this year’s program. Participants will include a consortium of several homeless and affordable housing providers in Boulder, who will purchase panels in the solar garden to offset long-term energy costs for their residents.
“We are honored to be one of the few teams selected,” said Tim Beal, director of Sustainable Communities for Boulder Housing Partners (BHP). “This project could dramatically reduce the energy costs for hundreds of low-income households in our community.”
The project is slated to be developed on property owned by BHP in Boulder County north of U.S. 36 and south of Gateway Park, after a more detailed site analysis by CEC. The CEC and BHP will take several months to finalize organizational details and undertake a planning process that will include broad community engagement.
The Community Solar Gardens program provides residential and business customers with the opportunity to purchase renewable energy from a community-based photovoltaic (PV) project. While the Solar Garden concept was developed in Boulder, and sponsored by Representative Claire Levy in 2010, this is the first large-scale community-owned solar project in the nation that is earmarked 100 percent for a community’s affordable housing residents.
“At a time when energy costs play a vital role in preserving affordability, we are excited to explore all options for local energy generation that provide stable, predictable energy for our community,” said Susie Strife, Boulder County sustainability coordinator. “This is a terrific example of public-private partnerships making a difference for residents.”
“The city supports the solar garden model as an innovative way to make renewable sources of energy accessible to everyone,” said David Driskell, executive director of Planning, Housing and Sustainability for the City of Boulder. “Even as prices come down, solar is not always an option for residents who live in multi-family or reduced-cost housing. This particular project allows a broader segment of our community to enjoy the benefits of clean energy generation.”
Tim Beal, Boulder Housing Partners, 720-564-4610
Jim Hartman, Clean Energy Collective, 720-333-0110
Jonathan Koehn, City of Boulder, 303-441-1915
Susie Strife, Boulder County, 303-441-4565
About Boulder Housing Partners
Boulder Housing Partners is a national leader in sustainable practices related to affordable housing, with aggressive goals for reducing energy, water use and waste. The public housing provider for Boulder, BHP builds, owns, and manages quality affordable housing for low and moderate-income Boulder residents, and helps those residents pursue successful, productive, and dignified lives.
About Clean Energy Collective (CEC)
A solar tech start-up in 2009, Clean Energy Collective (CEC) has grown to become the world’s leading developer of Roofless Community Solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through medium-scale solar PV facilities accessible to all utility customers. Since establishing the first community-owned solar array in the country in 2010 near El Jebel, Colorado, CEC has built or has under development more than 90 Roofless Community Solar projects with 21 utility partners across 10 states, representing 100 MW of community solar capacity. www.easycleanenergy.com
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