by Pam Zubeck
Equating to a $46 discount per panel, or $ .20 per Watt, these discounted rates allow CSU customers to own solar panels in the community array offered through Clean Energy Collective —the only community array available at present—for $578 each, or $2.57 per Watt. After this point, the price per panel returns to $624, or $2.77 per Watt, with no additional rebates in the foreseeable future.
This is one of the lowest prices for solar of any kind in the country, making Colorado Springs a leader in the accessibility and affordability of individually-owned renewable energy production.
Community solar provides electricity customers with the ability to use locally-made clean power while avoiding the hassle of installing a stand-alone system. Customers are eligible for the same solar rebates and discounts as roof-mounted solar, and receive credit for power production directly on their CSU utility bills. Shared arrays are also professionally maintained for maximum power production and maximum lifespan.
Unlike solar leasing programs, the Clean Energy Collective model allows any residential ratepayer in the CSU territory the opportunity to own panels in the Colorado Springs Community-Owned Solar Garden as a long‐term asset. The one-time system price also comes with a 50-year maintenance program. This means that after the payback period, generally much quicker than traditional solar options, the financial benefit continues to grow for the life of the system.
Purchases can be as few as two panels or enough to completely offset 100% of household energy demand. If needed, panels can be transferred to another address within the CSU territory, sold or donated to a person or entity of choice.
CEC is forecasting high demand as the discount period comes to a close, and with community solar panels becoming a unique holiday gift. The array is expected to sell out.
The 500 kW Colorado Springs Community Owned Solar Garden is located in south Colorado Springs on the east side of I25, just south of the Stratmoor Valley Subdivision.
More information about the Colorado Springs Community Owned Solar Garden can be found at www.springscleanenergy.com or (800) 646-0323.