Unico Solar announced plans to develop 19 C&I solar projects across Colorado’s Front Range totaling 14.75 MW of capacity.
The portfolio is two-part: The first involves building six new community solar gardens totaling 12 MW in partnership with Namasté Solar. The second involves installing solar projects for the City of Boulder totaling 2.75 MW. Both portfolios will be capitalized by a $100 million equity fund Unico Solar established earlier this year.
Unico Solar will lease a total of 2.6 million square feet between six sites across the Front Range for the community solar gardens with Xcel Energy. Each site is expected to generate 3,914,190 kWh per year, totaling 449,825,143 kWh over 20 years, which is capable of powering more than 2,000 average Colorado households. Construction, which will be led by Namasté Solar, a Colorado-based employee-owned cooperative with a proven track record of designing and constructing projects of this size, is expected to begin in late 2019.
The Xcel Energy community solar project will operate on a subscription-based model, with a percentage of the energy generated reserved exclusively for residential customers. All remaining capacity will be sold to other commercial, industrial and residential customers. Both projects work toward Colorado’s overall goal to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2040, set forth by Governor Jared Polis’s HB-1003, called the Community Solar Gardens Modernization Act, making it easier for the state’s residents to access clean energy.
“We are excited to be developing these projects with Unico, as we have a history of successfully partnering together here in Colorado,” said Eliot Abel, director of commercial project development at Namasté Solar. “These projects further demonstrate our commitment to helping Colorado residents and businesses save money with clean solar energy, while also making a positive impact on the local community and the environment.”
City of Boulder
Unico Solar has also secured site leases for more than 370,000 square feet of rooftop and ground area across 13 sites with the City of Boulder, supporting the city’s goal to operate on 100% renewable energy by 2030. The entire portfolio is expected to generate 80,663,889 kWh and $1.3 million in cumulative savings to the city over 20 years and requires no up-front capital or ongoing maintenance costs from the city.
“As a real estate investor with a long history of building communities and demonstrating leadership in sustainability, Unico Solar is keenly aware of the impact commercial and industrial buildings have on climate change, and we see an opportunity in Colorado to expedite our transition to a clean energy future,” said Adam Knoff, associate director and co-founder of Unico Solar. “Together with Xcel Energy and the City of Boulder, we are taking steps toward decarbonizing the built environment while sharing the financial benefits of the state’s growing solar economy.”
News item from Unico Solar Investors