Pueblo County School District 70 contracts with Clean Energy Collective for 1.1 MW
of community solar capacity, targets $2 million in savings.
PUEBLO, COLO. (January 26, 2017) – Clean Energy Collective (CEC), the nation’s leading community solar solutions provider, announced today that Pueblo County School District 70 (D70), the administrative arm of 34 schools in south central Colorado, has approved a contract securing 1.1 megawatts of solar capacity, or 11,456 solar PV panels, in two of CEC’s community solar arrays under development with Black Hills Energy. The move makes D70 the first school district in Colorado to offset 100 percent of its energy use for school facilities served by Black Hills Energy through community solar. The deal will net the district nearly $35,000 in savings in the first year, and more than $2 million in energy savings over the 20-year life of the program.
“As a public school district we are accountable to a high level of fiscally responsibility. Working with Clean Energy Collective we were able to meet that obligation by using community solar to reduce our energy costs and hedge against future energy price increases. But we can also do it in a way that helps us reach for higher environmental standards,” said D70 chief financial officer T.J. Vinci. “It’s exciting to be the first school district in the state to employ this strategy at this level, and I’m hopeful we are setting a positive example for the communities we serve and for other school districts.”
For D70, it was logistically challenging and cost prohibitive to build solar arrays at individual schools, with separate electric meters and a wide variety of roof types, age, and shading. Despite being the largest geographical school district in Colorado, with preschools, elementary, middle, and high schools serving 9,650 students, plus three transportation centers and an administrative building, D70 was able to consolidate its commitment into one community solar subscription, through CEC’s RooflessSolar™ program, with no upfront payment or recurring operations and maintenance costs and no changes to existing facilities.
“When this opportunity was presented to us by Black Hills Energy and Clean Energy Collective, we thought that this was the kind of example we should be setting as a board and as a district for our students and parents. This program is the perfect mix of economic responsibility and benefit blended with supporting sustainable and renewable energy sources,” said D70 school board chairman Ted Ortiviz.
Through RooflessSolar™, any utility customer can lower their electricity costs and support local clean power generation without the need for a solar-suitable roof or a large upfront payment. Participants subscribe to a portion of a shared array, which is optimally sited and engineered for maximum power production, and then receive credit for the power production directly on their monthly utility bills. This model gives renters, those with shaded roofs, commercial customers with multiple locations, non-profits, and well-sited properties easy access to the benefits of local solar power generation.
“We are thrilled to see the Pueblo County School District participate in our Black Hills Energy community solar projects. Community solar is a superb solution for institutions like this seeking to reduce their utility costs, yet have limited ability to build individual systems onsite or don’t want the inherent maintenance hassles,” said Paul Spencer, CEC founder and CEO. “This speaks directly to the ‘community’ in community solar.”
The 1.1 MW allocation will generate an average of 2.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy per year, and more than 40 million kwh over 20 years.
Black Hills Energy customers interested in learning more about community solar and how to be a subscriber can speak with a CEC solar specialist at (720) 583-7170.
About Clean Energy Collective
Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is the nation’s leading developer of community solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through medium-scale solar PV facilities accessible to all utility customers. Since establishing the country’s first community-owned solar array near El Jebel, Colorado in 2010, CEC has built or has under development more than 100 RooflessSolar™ projects with 27 utility partners across 12 states, serving thousands of customers, and representing more than 177 MW of community solar capacity. CEC is also the leading provider of community solar software and services to the utility, development and financial industries through its Community Solar Platform™. www.cleanenergyco.com