Solaris Energy and Namasté Solar have completed The Solinator Garden, a 1-MW solar array at Kyle Ave in Fort Collins, Colorado. The system involved over 100 Colorado-based people, including staff at Namasté Solar, Solaris Energy and the Fort Collins Utilities as part of their Solar Power Purchase Program (SP3).
“When cities like Fort Collins partner with local businesses like Namasté Solar and Solaris Energy, it magnifies the impact on the local economy, and it creates well-paying green jobs within the community,” said Jason Sharpe, chief executive officer, and co-owner at Namasté Solar.
SP3 incentivizes the installation of new, local commercial-scale solar systems owned and maintained by companies such as Solaris Energy.
“While installing solar panels on your home is a great way to make a positive difference, not every home is suitable, or not everyone owns a home,” said Alex Blackmer, chief executive officer at Solaris Energy. “Large, commercial-scale projects like The Solinator Garden provide the capacity needed to make a measurable difference toward Fort Collins’ renewable energy goals.”
Fort Collins has a PPA with Solaris Energy. This project is co-located on the Fort Collins electric distribution grid and the PPA ensures that all the solar electric energy is consumed locally.
“This project will contribute over 6% toward the City of Fort Collins’ local renewable goals for 2020,” said John Phelan, energy services senior manager for Fort Collins Utilities. “Energy generated at the Kyle Avenue location will flow directly into the local distribution grid and is part of the overall electricity mix provided to all city utility customers.”
The Solinator Garden is named to highlight the project’s use of land underneath and around the solar panels to provide a healthy habitat for local pollinator species. Climate change has already had a negative impact on insect and bird populations in Colorado. Land around solar arrays can be used for productive purposes in addition to creating clean, renewable energy.
“The site includes a pollinator garden along the perimeter. The grasses planted throughout the project contain a flowering seed mix to enhance local pollinator populations,” said Blackmer.
News item from Namaste Solar