The Clean Energy Collective (CEC) cut the ribbon this week on the first community-owned solar array resulting from the Community Solar Garden Act of 2010, which directed the Public Utilities Commission to include solar gardens in the Colorado’s renewable energy plans. On Friday, April 26 the Boulder Cowdery Meadows Solar Array, built on 3.5 acres of land in south Boulder County, officially begin delivering clean, locally-produced power to participating commercial and residential ratepayers in Xcel Energy’s Boulder County territory. The array was built by construction partner REC Solar and is 500 kWh, projected to produce 830,000 kWh of power in its first year of operation, and reduce CO2 output by 15,000 tons over its initial 20 years of operation.
The Boulder Cowdery Meadows Solar Array is the first community-owned project in Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program, and the state’s first solar array through an Investor Owned Utility (IOU). CEC’s community-owned solar model allows 100% of a utility’s ratepayers this opportunity to own clean, locally-produced energy. Members will receive all of the same rebates and incentives of home-sited systems, and receive credit for the power produced directly on their monthly electric bills. Xcel Energy’s Boulder County customers have the option to purchase as little as one 1 kilowatt in the Boulder Cowdery Meadows Solar Array or enough fully offsetting their electricity usage. The City of Boulder is evaluating the possibility of creating its own utility, however they have stressed that solar garden customers will not be affected, by ensuring that businesses investing in solar will not be harmed if they later become customers of a Boulder utility.
Source: News Release- Clean Energy Collective Celebrates Grand Opening of Boulder’s First Community-Owned Solar Garden