SunShare: Nation's largest solar gardener


David Amster-Olszewski with some of his staff when he was in the process of building a solar garden south of Colorado Springs. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • David Amster-Olszewski with some of his staff when he was in the process of building a solar garden south of Colorado Springs.

Home-grown SunShare solar garden company has landed 4.5 megawatts of community solar gardens in Adams, Denver and Jefferson counties under Xcel Energy's Solar Rewards Community program, Sunshare announced today.

SunShare also recently was awarded all 2 megawatts of solar gardens under Colorado Springs Utilities next phase of renewables.

SunShare was started by David Amster-Olszewski, a 2009 graduate of Colorado College, in 2011 when he built two, 500-kilowatt solar gardens in Colorado Springs under a pilot program.

The news release:

Xcel Energy announced that it has selected SunShare to develop, subscribe and
operate an additional 4.5 megawatts of community solar gardens through three projects in
Adams, Denver and Jefferson counties, under the utility’s Solar*Rewards Community program.
The selection builds on a continuing partnership between Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest
electric and natural gas utility, and SunShare, a local community solar developer founded by a
group of entrepreneurs. SunShare noted that it now has more community solar garden projects in
place or awarded than any other company in the nation.

In Colorado, SunShare will now serve consumers in Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson and El
Paso counties. With the selection, SunShare, which was founded in Colorado Springs, has hit its
target to grow by 20 times in the next eight months.

“We are excited about our partnership with Xcel Energy, and the opportunity to bring solar
energy without rooftop panels to thousands of homes, businesses, municipalities and schools in
the Denver Metro area,” said SunShare Founder and President David Amster-Olszewski. “By
building large central solar projects instead of thousands of small rooftop systems, Community
Solar opens the doors to the benefits of solar to any customer, regardless of roof space, shading,
or home ownership.”

“Our Solar*Rewards Community programs have been highly successful and popular with
the solar industry and our customers,” said David Eves, president and CEO of Public
Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “By taking advantage of the lower
prices associated with a larger solar generating resource, Solar*Rewards Community is one
great way to provide our customers with the solar energy they want at a competitive price.
These projects will be beneficial for our customers and the community.”

Xcel Energy also has proposed an additional 6.5 megawatts of solar gardens in its 2014
Renewable Energy Standard Compliance Plan. Xcel Energy selected the SunShare projects
based on an evaluation of its price and the operational value it brings to the electric system.
SunShare has more than 12 megawatts of solar projects built, under development or
awarded in the Front Range service territories of Xcel Energy, Colorado Springs Utilities,
and Fort Collins Utilities. Earlier this summer, Xcel Energy awarded SunShare five, 500-
kilowatt community solar projects under the utility’s Solar*Rewards Community standard
offer, for a total of 7 megawatts with Xcel Energy.

SunShare’s first two, 500-kilowatt Community Solar Gardens were built in Colorado Springs in
2011 under a pilot program Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) developed. Altogether, SunShare
can now allow businesses, public entities, non-profits and residents in Adams, Arapahoe,
Denver, El Paso and Jefferson Counties to participate in the program, allowing them to “go
solar” without an on-site or rooftop installation of panels.

The Solar*Rewards Community program was developed through collaboration with the
solar industry and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, and created in response to the
State of Colorado's legislation (House Bill 10-1342), passed in 2010, to provide for
community solar gardens. Xcel Energy supported the legislation.

For more information on the Solar*Rewards Community or Solar*Rewards programs, visit , or email .
Customers interested in becoming a part of SunShare’s community solar gardens should
email or call 303.296.0919.

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