Tuesday, August 26, 2014

UPDATE: Adams County first to community solar power

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 9:30 AM

It came to our attention this morning that the SunShare press release below contains inaccurate information, mainly that Adams County will be the first to utilize community solar. 

According to this Denver Business Journal article to which a concerned reader directed us this morning, San Miguel County made a photovoltaic commitment with Boulder-based Clean Energy Collective in 2013.

The article points to other agreements between local governments and PV providers as well. 

So, the good news here (being that corrections are always embarrassing), is that we've erred only to learn that there's more great collaborations going on than we realized — which in the case of bringing more sustainable energy to the scene, we're happy to find out. 

Nonetheless, we regret the error. 

—— ORIGINAL POST: MONDAY, AUG. 25, 5:18 P.M. ——

Following up on Indy reporter Pam Zubeck's piece last month on SunShare's expansion across Colorado, the company announced last week that it has now contracted with Adams County for its energy needs via the community solar garden, becoming the first county in the country to do so, apparently. 

Here's the full press release, with all the details:
Denver-based SunShare announced today it has contracted with Adams County to provide the regional governmentwith clean, reliable energy from Community Solar Gardens. Adams County will be the first county in the nation to power its buildings with Community Solar energy. SunShare is one of the nation’s first Community Solar providers.

“We are really excited to partner with Adams County,” said Marc Bencivenni, Vice President of SunShare. “Their leadership in sustainability and innovation is clear and should be an inspiration for surrounding communities.”

“Adams County has made an important first step in moving to cleaner energy,” said Nick Kittle, the Performance, Innovation and Sustainability Manager for Adams County. “It makes financial sense and builds on our growing leadership role as an environmentally responsible community. We will continue to make more sustainable choices as an organization, and we’re excited to partner with SunShare to bring more Solar Gardens to Adams County. We believe this project is a winning opportunity for our organization, our community and our citizens and we are excited to be the first county in the nation to be a partner in a community solar garden.”
click to enlarge SunShare continues to gain ground in the solar market with its and the nation's first county contract. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • SunShare continues to gain ground in the solar market with its and the nation's first county contract.

“The Community Solar model is quickly emerging as a major force in the renewable energy sector,” said J.W. Postal, SunShare’s Senior Vice President. “Partnerships like this demonstrate the immense demand for Community Solar—we are excited to partner with Adams County.”

In 2010 the Colorado State legislature led the nation by passing the country’s first Community Solar Gardens Act. The act has inspired 16 states from Minnesota to California to develop legislation creating their own Community Solar Gardens programs.

The Community Solar Gardens Act allows customers who either can’t or don’t want to put solar panels on their homes to buy solar energy from a solar array located elsewhere in the community.

Electricity generated by SunShare’s Solar Gardens is fed into the main power grid. SunShare’s customers buy a specific amount of energy from the solar garden and receive a credit on their Xcel Energy bill for that amount.

“Xcel Energy is a key partner in the Solar Gardens model. Xcel took a leadership role by becoming the largest investor-owned utility in the country to implement a Community Solar Garden program,” said Postal.

In an effort to encourage residents and businesses in Adams County to go solar, SunShare is offering a 10 percent discount to any business, school or resident in the city limits for the next 30 days.

SunShare has over 11 megawatts of community solar gardens built or under development in Colorado’s Front Range. SunShare has projects underway with Colorado Springs Utilities and Xcel Energy with the capacity to serve over 2,200 homes.

For more information on the Community Solar Garden program, visit www.mysunshare.com. Customers interested in becoming a part of SunShare’s community solar gardens should email contactus@mysunshare.com or call 303.296.0919.

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