Solar gardens come to Fort Collins

The Poudre Valley REA Community Solar Farm, the first in Northern Colorado, will be dedicated on Tuesday, Aug. 28. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at the installation at PVREA Headquarters, 7649 REA Parkway in Fort Collins.

The Community Solar Farm is made up of 494 solar panels generating approximately 116,000 watts (116 kW) of electricity and is owned, operated and maintained by Clean Energy Collective CEC of Carbondale. The project is currently fully subscribed by PVREA members who bought panels for $618 each; one panel generates about 235 watts of power, which PVREA buys at the current market rate. Members see the amount as a reduction on their monthly bill.

Solar gardens, which allow Colorado homeowners without appropriate space for their own solar panels to benefit from energy generated by the sun, were enabled by the state legislature in 2010.

The PVREA website now includes an interactive chart that monitors the amount of power generated by the solar garden, the pounds of carbon dioxide saved, and the number of homes that can be powered by the garden. Go to www.pvrea.com/solar/index.html for more information.

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