Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association and the Clean Energy Collective, located in Carbondale, have announced that they will partner in the construction of a second community solar farm for PVREA consumers. The facility will provide an opportunity for members of the electric cooperative to purchase solar power to offset their electric use.
PVREA’s initial project was constructed in 2012 and was the first community solar farm in Northern Colorado. It was dedicated in August last year when 494 solar panels generating 116,090 watts of electricity were energized. The new array will be more than four times the size of the first one at 500,000 watts and more than 2,000 solar panels. The site for the new array is still to be determined. The first facility was constructed at the PVREA headquarters near Windsor but space requirements will not allow further expansion there.
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CEC will fund construction of the project and Poudre Valley REA will purchase the electricity under a purchase power agreement. Once completed, PVREA consumers may purchase individual panels and their electric bills will be credited for the electricity generated each month. Both residential and small commercial accounts may participate in the program. The cost to participate will start at $729 per panel.
“The board of directors and management carefully evaluated the initial project and we very pleased with its success,” said Poudre Valley REA CEO Brad Gaskill. “This expansion is an affirmation of our commitment to economically incorporate renewable energy initiatives that allow our consumers to benefit from a more diverse energy portfolio.”
The community solar concept allows all consumers to participate in renewable energy, including renters, those in poorly sighted properties and individuals of all income levels, without having to build a system of their own, and reap the benefits directly on their monthly electric bills through the utility. CEC will be awarding a solar panel as a prize at the PVREA annual meeting on March 30 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland. All co-op members are invited to attend.
“The fact that the first phase sold out before it was even completed shows that Poudre Valley REA’s members are committed to using locally-produced renewable energy,” said CEC founder and CEO Paul Spencer. “We are honored to be Poudre Valley REA’s partner for a second phase, showing their ongoing dedication toward providing solutions that their members want.”
More information is available at www.pvrea.com/solar or by calling 1-800-370-5276.