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by Staff Writers
Boulder CO (SPX) May 01, 2013
Pioneer solar garden developer Clean Energy Collective (CEC) commemorated the ground breaking for development of the first community solar garden to serve the City of Aurora and Arapahoe County. Xcel Energy's residential and businesses customers will gain the opportunity to use clean, locally-produced renewable energy without the hassle or up-front cost of putting a system on their roof...or even needing to own a roof.
The 500 kW Aurora/Arapahoe Solar Array is being constructed on 4.5 acres of otherwise unusable land owned by the City of Aurora Water Department. This is the third of eight community solar facilities CEC is building as part of Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards Communities program, coming just behind the Boulder Cowdery Meadows array grand opening last Friday and the Denver/Lowry array that broke ground last Monday.
Celebrating the milestone were Colorado State Senator (District 28) Suzanne Williams, City of Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Arapahoe County Council Member Renie Peterson, and CEC Chief Operating Officer Tom Sweeney.
CEC's community solar model-clean power generation through medium-scale, locally-sited facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers-was designed specifically for commercial and residential customers for whom on-site renewable energy systems are not an option. They may lease their space, live in multi-unit dwellings, or have homes or businesses that are poorly positioned for solar installations.
Any Xcel Energy ratepayer in Arapahoe County, including commercial businesses, public entities, non-profits, and residential customers, will be able to purchase solar panels in the 2,100-panel array- as few as five panels or enough to completely power their home or business.
They will receive financial benefits in a similar manner as if the panels were installed on a roof, and be credited directly on their monthly electric bills for the power their panels produce. The array is sited and maintained to operate at peak efficiency, delivering clean, dependable power for as long as 50 years.
"Never before has the opportunity to use renewable energy been available to so many people in Aurora and Arapahoe County," says Tom Sweeney, chief operating officer for CEC.
"Community-based renewable energy solutions are proving to be an important part of our clean energy future, and it's exciting to see Colorado leading the nation in community-owned solar."
Martifer Solar USA is overseeing the engineering and construction on the array.
In 2010, CEC established the first community-owned solar garden in the country near El Jebel, Colorado. Since that time, CEC has installed 2.7 MW of community solar in Colorado. In 2012, Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is building eight community-owned solar gardens under the Xcel Solar*Rewards program, totaling 3.5 MW of distributed power generation to serve Colorado's customers in Boulder, Jefferson, Denver, Arapahoe and Summit Counties and the City of Aurora.
Clean Energy Collective (CEC)
All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com
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