Earlier this week (Aug. 28), the staff and board members of Tri-State member co-op Poudre Valley REA (Fort Collins, Colo.), held a dedication ceremony for the cooperative’s first community solar farm that is now in operation at their headquarters complex.Keynote speaker Tracee Bently of the Colorado Energy Office, praised PVREA for its innovation in bringing renewable energy to more of its member-consumers through this community solar project. “At the Colorado Energy Office we recognize the need for a diverse portfolio of power supply to the state’s electric consumers and we are proud to work with Poudre Valley, a leader in rolling out renewable technologies that provide clean, affordable power to its membership,” she said.
“This community solar farm offers our members who are interested in investing in renewable power with an affordable alternative to more costly home systems,” said Brad Gaskill, CEO of Poudre Valley REA.
Poudre Valley’s new solar array began producing power for its members on Aug. 3. The site has a maximum capacity output of 116 kilowatts derived from a total of 494 photovoltaic solar panels.
The new array is fully subscribed by a total of 21 PVREA member-consumers, who paid $618 per panel after factoring in rebates and tax credits. The estimated combined annual savings for solar farm investors is $17,000 per year.
Tri-State’s member systems have taken a leadership role in developing community solar projects. A total of six member co-ops are either planning or have built community solar projects in their service territories.
The largest of those systems is a 1-megawatt PV solar array now under construction in San Miguel Power’s (Nucla, Colo.) service territory. It is currently the nation’s largest planned community solar project and is scheduled for completion later this fall.