US Solar announced the groundbreaking of USS Giveback, its first community solar gardens with Black Hills Energy in Pueblo, Colorado. The 2-MW and 500-kW community solar arrays will serve businesses, residents, municipalities and low- to moderate-income service organizations in the greater Colorado area. As part of its commitment to Black Hills Energy and the community, US Solar is donating $100,000 across 10 local nonprofits and community organizations.
“We call these projects USS Giveback because that is our goal. We are committed to giving back to the communities that host our Solar Gardens by providing widespread benefits, like these donations, savings on energy bills, and bringing more clean energy online to the local grid,” said Reed Richerson, COO of US Solar. “Our largest donation to date will go to 10 different organizations that are serving Pueblo and greater Colorado communities. We were thrilled to share these donations at the Pueblo Summer Solstice Festival.” Donation recipients include local schools, food banks, health resource organizations and housing support services.
Community solar gardens provide holistic benefits to the environment and community. US Solar adopts region-specific native deep-rooted prairie and pollinator habitat that restores and improves soil health, while increasing the air quality in the surrounding community. US Solar strives to work with local vendors and partners, bringing economic benefit to the community on top of direct financial benefit to subscribers. Community Solar Gardens also bring important infrastructure upgrades to the local energy grid.
US Solar is developing 14 Community Solar Gardens in Colorado and currently subscribing its these arrays for Colorado Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy customers.
Donation recipients include:
CASA of Pueblo: CASA of Pueblo advocates for abused and neglected children by training volunteer advocates to speak up and fight for children.
POSADA of Pueblo: Posada of Pueblo provides housing and supportive services to empower homeless individuals and families in Pueblo County.
Health Solutions: Health Solutions provides medical and behavioral health services to enable Pueblo Area community members to live, work and contribute to their chosen community.
Care and Share Food Bank: Care and Share provides food to partner food pantries and meal sites across Southern Colorado to expand access to fresh, nutritious food across the region.
Pueblo Community College: Pueblo Community College serves over 9,300 students and in 2021 launched a Solar Certificate and Training program. They are working to expand this program into more clean energy fields such as electric vehicle technician.
Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation: Rural LISC provides a wide range of services, like training, technical assistance, and financial support to address the challenges rural communities face.
Southeast Health Group: Southeast Health Group provides 24/7 behavioral health crisis intervention and brings an integrated approach to medicine for community members in southeast Colorado.
Otero Child Development Services – Head Start: Child Development Services Head Start provides early education services, parent education programs, and community partnerships in the Pueblo region.
Pueblo School District 60: Pueblo School District 60 serves over 15,000 students in the City of Pueblo, with a profile reflecting 80% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch programs.
Pueblo County School District 70: Pueblo County School District 70 educates over 8,000 students across Pueblo County, and seeks to educate students to prepare them with the skills to engage with a rapidly changing world.
News item from US Solar