Denver-based SunShare has contracted with the City of Westminster to provide the municipality with clean, reliable energy from community solar gardens. SunShare is one of the nation’s first community solar providers.
Electricity generated by SunShare’s solar gardens is fed into the main power grid. SunShare’s customers buy a specific amount of energy from the solar garden and receive a credit on their Xcel Energy bill for that amount.
“The City of Westminster is demonstrating that renewable energy is a serious priority for cities,” said Marc Bencivenni, vice president of SunShare. “The city is making a leadership decision that is positive for the environment, good for its bottom line and should be an inspiration for others in the community.”
“Westminster has a clear goal to identify and implement alternative energy options for city facilities, and this partnership is an important step in that direction,” said Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison. “It makes financial sense for our energy costs and it builds on our leadership role as an environmentally responsible community.”
“The community solar model is quickly emerging as a major force in the renewable energy sector,” said J.W. Postal, SunShare’s senior vice president.
In 2010 the Colorado Legislature led the nation by passing the country’s first Community Solar Gardens Act. The act has inspired 16 states from Minnesota to California to develop legislation creating their own community solar gardens programs.
The Community Solar Gardens Act allows customers who either can’t or don’t want to put solar panels on their homes to buy solar energy from a solar array located elsewhere in the community.
“Now everyone can have access to solar energy. Community solar was designed to broaden citizen and community access to locally generated solar energy. Now cities, residents living in apartments, businesses and homeowners that couldn’t place solar on their own homes or facilities can join the solar revolution,” Postal said.
“Xcel Energy is a key partner in the solar gardens model. Xcel took a leadership role by becoming the largest investor-owned utility in the country to implement a community solar garden program,” said Bencivenni.
In an effort to encourage residents and businesses in the City of Westminster to go solar SunShare is offering a 10 percent discount to any business, school or resident in the city limits for the next 30 days.
SunShare has over 11 megawatts of community solar gardens built or under development in Colorado’s Front Range. SunShare has projects underway with Colorado Springs Utilities and Xcel Energy with the capacity to serve over 2,200 homes.
For more information visit www.mysunshare.com. Customers interested in becoming a part of SunShare’s community solar gardens should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-296-0919.