Two community solar gardens were built last year and available to all Summit County residents and businesses.
Both Solar Gardens were constructed in 2013 on Town of Breckenridge land and sold out prior to construction.
Each array is 500 kilowatts in size, or roughly 2000 panels, producing a total of one megawatt of power. This means that Summit County is closer to energy independence, and producing less pollution and carbon through the energy it uses. Most importantly, individual households and businesses are saving money in the long run. We expect hundreds of local homes and businesses to ultimately take part in these two clean energy opportunities.
What is HC3’s role? We helped to bring partners together to make the project happen. Project development, subscription and performance is managed by the Clean Energy Collective.
Check out what the most recent Summit Daily article about the Solar Garden HERE
Why a Solar Garden?
More people are able to access solar power production. In 2008, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated that only 27% of rooftop area is suitable for hosting on-site solar production.
Solar gardens are located on optimally sighted land. If your roof is not perfect for solar, this could be a good option for you.
The project allows you, the consumer, to take advantage of economies of scale. Because panels are purchased and installed in bulk, the overall price is often lower per panel.
If you plan to sell your home, your share is transferable to any electricity meter in the county. You can also sell your share back to the developer at any point.
Businesses qualify. Solar garden pricing is especially attractive for businesses or public entities with a high demand charge. Renters qualify. Any individual or entity with an Xcel electric meter in Summit County can purchase a subscription.
Lastly, this is a distributed generation project. The clean energy is produced and used in Summit County, creating local jobs, contributing to our energy independence and reducing the need for transmission lines.
What About Rooftop Solar?If you have a great south facing roof then rooftop solar may be a better option for you than the solar garden. Contact one of our local installers for a free site visit.
PricingFor up to date pricing or a quote, contact the Clean Energy Collective. Pricing is set at $3.70 per watt, for both systems. The same price applies to both residential and commercial customers. The minimum purchase size is 1kW, which translates into a $3,700 purchase price.
REC Credit and On-Bill CreditCustomers receive both an on-bill credit and a Renewable Energy Certificate Payment (REC). Residential subscribers receive an on-bill credit equal to $.07082/kWh for every hour produced by their share of the solar garden. Residential subscribers also receive a payment of $.08/kWh for every hour produced by their share of the solar garden. The REC payment will continue for 20 years, twice as long as a typical residential system, which ends after 10 years.
How Much Will You Save?
Residential customers that purchase a 1kW interest can expect to pay $3,700 for the system and will have first year savings of approximately $260. Those savings will increase as Xcel increases their tariffed usage rate for electric service. In the first 20 years, a 1kW subscriber can expect to save approximately $6,000.
Commercial customers can expect similar savings, or more. Commercial credit rates are established by customer under the Xcel Solar*Rewards Community program, and some customers with high demand charges and low usage charges will receive significantly higher credit rates. CEC’s solar specialists can help businesses determine their actual credit rate under the program. Under some quotes we have provided we have seen credit rates as high as $.11/kWh. Commercial customers will also receive the REC payment of $.08/kWh for the full 20 year period.
FinancingCEC has financing available for both residential and commercial customers. Residential subscribers can obtain low cost financing from our partner Sooper Credit Union, and commercial subscribers can obtain low cost financing from our partner ANB Bank. CEC will assist customers that want to take advantage of these low cost green loans with applications and answering questions.