SOURCE: Colorado Springs Utilities

Colorado Springs Utilities

October 05, 2011 10:40 ET

Colorado Springs Works With Private Sector to Launch Community Solar Gardens

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO--(Marketwire - Oct 5, 2011) - On Sept. 27, the Colorado Springs City Council approved a way for citizens to invest in privately held solar gardens and receive a credit on their municipal utility electric bill. The arrangement between the community-owned Colorado Springs Utilities and the private sector is one of the first of its kind in the nation.

A community solar garden is a solar array located in a community where the renewable energy generated at the facility belongs to subscribers of the project. The program enables renters, low-income utility customers and those that live in areas that are not conducive to installing solar panels on their own property to receive the benefits of renewable energy.

"This program can serve as a model of how a public utility can work together with private companies to provide affordable renewable energy," said Jerry Forte, chief executive officer of Colorado Springs Utilities.

Subscribing customers will receive a 9-cent per kilowatt hour credit on their electric bill for their share of the power generated at the solar garden. In addition, Springs Utilities will provide a one-time incentive of $2 per watt (up to 30% of the subscriber's solar garden investment) when the panels are installed.

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    Steve Berry