Construction on a 10-megawatt Colorado community solar portfolio has been completed, Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company announced. The development was for five separate community solar gardens built in southern Colorado. These arrays will help filter solar energy to residents of southern Colorado to provide a low-cost power option.
According to Greenbacker’s announcement, the five gardens were originally purchased in 2019. The sale between Greenbacker and Community Energy started the process of the 10-megawatt Colorado community solar portfolio. Community Energy remained a part of the project by providing engineering, construction, and procurement services during the initial development stage. Construction of the portfolio included a built-in EPC provider along with an option for long-term subscriptions that Xcel Energy customers could take advantage of.
The agreement would be through Xcel’s Solar Rewards Community program, which makes subscribers eligible for a credit toward their utility bill. Participants subscribe to a unit of energy through the solar facility and receive a credit equal to the solar energy they use. Typically, the credit is 10% of their total utility bill. This perk is afforded to all participants, included small businesses and renters.
Greenbacker’s new Colorado community solar portfolio includes the Alden, Rock Creek 2, Alamosa Solar South, Monte Vista 2, and Platteville gardens. Each facility was built in rural regions of Colorado and is spread out enough to cover a large region of the start. The benefits of community solar will also be available to low-income households and underserved neighborhoods of Colorado. One primary goal of a community solar project is to serve communities that would otherwise not be able to afford private solar panels.
Along with economic benefits, the Colorado community solar portfolio will also help push the state toward a carbon-free utility system. Greenbacker CEO Charles Wheeler highlights the benefits of the partnership between his company and Community Energy, noting that additional benefits will be passed down to investors in the form of increased value.