by Staff Writers
Carbondale CO (SPX) Apr 18, 2012
Clean Energy Collective (CEC) and Sooper Credit Union (SCU) have announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership whereby Sooper Credit Union will make affordable, long-term loans available to consumers and businesses that buy into CEC community-owned solar gardens.
Clean Energy Collective's community solar model allows utility customers to obtain economies of scale through solar panel ownership in a community-based, utility-scale PV array that is optimally sited for maximum efficiency.
Opening the opportunity for solar ownership to every customer in a utility territory, the model has sharply reduced costs and greatly simplified the process. Members can buy a single panel for as little as $535 or as many as needed to completely power their home or business.
The financing program makes Colorado based Sooper Credit Union the first lender in the nation to address the community-owned solar panel marketplace with low-interest loans.
"We are excited to have created this pioneering loan program with the Clean Energy Collective," said Dan Kester, CEO of Sooper Credit Union. "We see the rapidly growing solar market as an opportunity to help all of our members and communities own clean renewable power at affordable rates," adds Kester.
Paul Spencer, CEC's founder and CEO, explains that community solar gardens are more efficient and produce more power than roof-top systems, installation and maintenance costs are less expensive, "The structure allows customers to receive all of the rebates and tax incentives of home-sited systems up-front. Community solar arrays are the most cost effective solar solutions available today, and now with our partnership with Sooper Credit Union they are the most obtainable, as well," stated Spencer.
Loans from SCU will be available to consumers and businesses that purchase panels in any of the CEC's community solar arrays, including those in Holy Cross Energy, Colorado Springs Utilities, San Miguel Power Association, and Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association service areas.
This includes the communities of Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder, Windsor, Colorado Springs, Telluride, Ouray, Ridgway, Vail, Eagle, Edwards, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Carbondale and Aspen.
SCU will offer three, five, seven, and 10-year loans with fixed rates for the life of the loan. Rates are as low as 2.25% for three-year loans and 5.5% for 10-year loans, with no prepayment penalties and no fees.* Home or building ownership is not required to participate.
SCU serves all types of customers with all levels of income-renters, residential, commercial, the vast majority of which cannot own traditional solar today.
Darrell Mann, Executive Vice President of Sooper Credit Union added, "We felt the Clean Energy Collective was a perfect match for Sooper Credit Union as they have pioneered community-owned solar, opening solar accessibility to literally everyone with a utility bill, not just the 15% that own a well-sighted home and have the $10,000 - $20,000 needed to purchase a traditional solar system."
CEC's solar garden model was recently acknowledged with the Solar Energy Industry Association's 2012 Project of Distinction Award, the Department of Energy selected CEC for the 2011 "National Innovative Green Power Program of the Year" award, and Climate Change Business Journal recently recognized CEC with its 2011 Business Achievement Award.
Clean Energy Collective
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