Pikes Peak Solar Garden LLC, a company created in December 2011 by SunShare LLC, has been awarded the contract to build 2 megawatts of community solar gardens for Colorado Springs Utilities. Both companies are controlled by David Amster-Olszewski, a Colorado College grad who built two fully subscribed half-megawatt solar gardens in Colorado Springs under a 2011 pilot program ("Sunblock," cover story, Aug. 7).
An official announcement of the contract award hadn't been made as of press time, with Utilities spokesman Steve Berry saying, "The process now is to negotiate the final details." He notes that Pikes Peak Solar Garden was chosen from a field of fewer than five bidders.
Amster-Olszewski says he created Pikes Peak Solar Garden at the request of Utilities, which wants each solar garden to be in the name of a separate entity. SunShare owns more than 90 percent of PPSG, he says. Altogether, Amster-Olszewski says his companies will employ 20 people in Colorado Springs due to the new project, about double what it employed a few months ago.
Solar gardens allow Utilities customers whose properties might not be conducive to solar systems (due to excessive shading or other factors) to purchase solar panels in an array that provides power to the city's grid in exchange for credits on individual bills.
SunShare is building 4 megawatts of solar gardens in the Denver area and has been shortlisted for 5 more megawatts for another undisclosed Front Range utility, Amster-Olszewski says, adding that the company could finish all 11 megawatts by summer. Details on the local project will be available at mysunshare.com or at 800/793-0786.
Meantime, Clean Energy Collective of Carbondale continues to take subscriptions for its half-megawatt solar garden authorized under the city's 2011 pilot program. For information, go to springscleanenergy.com or call 800/646-0323.