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Clean Energy Collective Awarded 6 Xcel Energy Solar Gardens
by Staff Writers
Carbondale CO (SPX) Aug 21, 2012


File image.

Clean Energy Collective (CEC) has been awarded six community-owned solar gardens as part of Xcel's Solar*Rewards Community program, totaling 2.5 MW of distributed power generation. Through the new program, Clean Energy Collective will construct and maintain solar arrays, known as solar gardens, in centralized locations across the state. The panels in the solar arrays are owned by individual community members, who receive credits on their Xcel electricity bill for the power produced by their panels.

"This is a historic step forward for the state of Colorado being made possible by Xcel Energy," says Paul Spencer, founder and CEO of the Clean Energy Collective. "Never before has the opportunity to use clean renewable energy been available to so many people so easily. Community solar is an important part of our energy future, and it's exciting to see Colorado leading the nation in community-based renewable energy solutions."

The Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards Community program was created in response to the 2010 Colorado Community Solar Gardens Act passed by the Colorado legislature that authorized community solar projects.

Community solar allows all utility customers the opportunity to utilize clean renewable energy. Any business or consumer can now take advantage of solar power including renters, those with poorly sighted properties and individuals of all income levels, without having to build a costly system of their own. Community solar customers receive the same financial benefits as they would if the panels were installed on their roofs.

However, since CEC performs all the maintenance and provides the solar industry's best warranty 50 years, consumers don't have to worry about maintenance or repair.

CEC pioneered the community solar model for clean energy production and is the most experienced community solar provider in the country. In 2010, CEC established the first community-owned solar garden in the country near El Jebel, Colorado. In 2011, CEC opened the largest community solar facility in the country near Rifle, Colorado.

In late 2012 and early 2013, CEC will open several other solar gardens in Colorado, New Mexico and Minnesota, in addition to the six sites in the Xcel program. CEC has community solar partnerships with many other utilities and is working on dozens of other community solar projects across the country.

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