Access to renewable energy just got easier for individuals and business that use electricity in Denver. Officials from Xcel Energy, the EPA and the Colorado State Land Board joined community solar developer Clean Energy Collective to officially open Denver County’s newest community solar facilities — two state-of-the-art 500 kW solar arrays that make affordable, locally-made clean power available to all Xcel Energy customers, residential or commercial, in Denver County.
Developed on a 5-acre site at the Evie Garrett Dennis School campus in northeast Denver, the two medium-scale solar PV arrays, consisting of more than 4,000 panels, are the eighth and ninth arrays CEC has brought online as part of Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Communities program. Combined, CEC’s power contribution to the Xcel Energy grid is over 4 MW. CEC now operates 16 community solar projects in Colo.
Through the community solar model, any Xcel Energy ratepayer in Denver County can purchase individual panels in the shared arrays, from one kilowatt up to enough panels to off-set all of their electricity needs. Customers receive the same rebates and incentives as if the system were located on their property, and credit for the energy produced comes directly on their monthly Xcel Energy bill.
“Broad accessibility is vital for any clean energy plan, yet it must make sense financially to the average person or business,” says Paul Spencer, founder and CEO of CEC. “Community solar is a solution that combines both.”
After available rebates and tax incentives, the cost is $3.70 per Watt, or $906.50 per solar panel. The combined facilities are expected to produce approximately 1,668,000 kWh of clean energy per year, enough to power about 150 homes annually. Over the 20-year Xcel Energy agreement, CO2 omissions will be reduced by over 54 million pounds.
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